Seattle, WA Air Force Jet Crashes, Apr 1962


Seattle, Wash. -- On April 12, 1962, during the Seattle Century 21 World's Fair opening ceremonies, an Air Force F102 airplane crashes into the Mountlake Terrace neighborhood.
As part of the opening day ceremonies, 10 Air Force F102s with the 64th Fighter-Interceptor Squadron at Paine Field near Everett did a fly-by over the Century 21 fairgrounds.
Moments after the flyby, at 1,500 feet elevation, one of the planes' engines flamed out. After two unsuccessful attempts to restart the engine, pilot Captain Joseph W. Wildt decided to ditch the F102 and headed it north towards Lake Washington. The pilot safely ejected but the plane missed the north end of the lake by three miles and crashed into a Mountlake Terrace neighborhood.
The crash killed MR. and MRS. RAYMOND SMITH, destroyed two homes, and damaged five others. An investigation determined that Captain Wildt did not factor in the effect the loss of his weight would have on the plane's trajectory.
Back at the Century 21 World's Fairgrounds no one realized there had been a tragedy, and the celebration continued.