VAH-7 comes aboard with hose in trail

The pictures on this page were submitted by Ed Metzger saled@tampabay.rr.com to Chuck Huber for use on his Hatwing I web site at
http://community-2.webtv.net/charles379/USNComposite/, but due to Chuck's lack of sufficient disk space he passed them on to me with Ed's permission so that I could show them here.

Ed Metzger is a retired AFCM, who served as third crewman with VAH-7 during the squadron's fourth deployment to Port Lyautey, 15 June 1957 to 15 February 1958. He was in Detachment 45 aboard the USS Essex (CVA-9), and he was the third crewman in BuNo 134050 during the trap shown in the pictures. According to Ed this is the only time an AJ ever made a carrier landing while trailing the inflight refueling gear. The plane commander was LCDR Roberts, the XO of VAH-7 and the O-in-C of Det 45. Ed has forgotten the names of the other crew member(s).

Ginter has a similar picture on page 104 of his book and dates the incident as February 1958. Ginter's picture seems to be the same as the one that is second in the sequence. The two photographs, however, are cropped differently. The "AP" tailcode was that of Air Task Group 201 (ATG-201).


 
VAH-7's BuNo 134050
The picture is compressed here. To see it in full size, right-click on the image and choose "view image" from the drop down window.

 
VAH-7's BuNo 134050
Note the fuel streaming from the hose.
I wonder what happened to the drogue.*
The picture is compressed here. To see it in full size, right-click on the image and choose "view image" from the drop down window.
*After having viewed this page and having read my musing about the drogue, Ed responded:
We had talked about making an intentional low pass to try to knock the drogue off, because we felt that if the drogue bounced it might bounce straight up and wrap around the elevators. We discarded that idea, believing it was foolish to intentionaly play around with the ramp. However, on the first pass that is just what happened. We came in somewhat low, and the drogue, we believe, hit below the ramp and then snapped off and did some damage on the fantail. As best as I can recall we caught the wire on the third pass.
Because I now realize, as I did not initially, that there were as many as three passes, I wonder if I have placed the pictures in correct sequence. As I look again at the pictures, the second and third seem not to be of the same pass. Probably picture number 2 is a waveoff and picture number 3 was the successful attempt. The apparent difference in the speed of the props would tend to support this conclusion. Look very carefully at the full-size picture of number 1. I think the drogue is still attached, meaning that that picture shows the first pass. The final picture unquestionably is placed properly. Happy landing!

 
VAH-7's BuNo 134050
The picture is compressed here. To see it in full size, right-click on the image and choose "view image" from the drop down window.

 
VAH-7's BuNo 134050
The picture is compressed here. To see it in full size, right-click on the image and choose "view image" from the drop down window.

 
Return to my navy file at my old site.

 


Kenneth Jennings Wooster
woosterk@cortland.edu
27 Abdallah Avenue
Cortland, NY 13045-3302
(607) 753-3558
File created: January 13, 2004.
File modified: January 14, 2004.