Eglin Air Force Base, FL, T-28 crash, Apr 1966

Two AF Pilots Killed In Crash During Dive-Bombing Mission

Two pilots from Hurlburt Field were killed when their T-28 plane failed to pull out of a dive and crashed into the ground in a wooded area abot 8 miles from the field on Wednesday [April 6].

The two officers killed in the crash were identified as the pilot, Captain Dennis L. Anderson, 30, of Guernsey, Wyo., and the copilot, Capt. Hubert L. Blake, 28, Garland, Tex.

Air Force officials said that the accident occurred shortly before noon while the plane was involved in a routine dive-bombing and gunnery-training mission on Range 77.

The wreckage was located in an area so remote that it was more than an hour later before the news could be released that the accident had taken place. Flight safety, Explosive Ordance [sic] Disposal and medical personnel were all at the crash site in the shortest possible time.

Cause of the accident is under investigation, but meantime, all Special Air Warfare Center T-28 aircraft have been restricted from flying as a precautionary measure.

Another T-28 made a forced landing Tuesday but little damage was suffered by the plane and the crew members were unhurt.

The T-28 plane is made by North American Aviation. It is a single-engine aircraft manufactured originally as a pilot trainer and now being used by the Vietnamese Air Force as a tactical fighter.

Although the plane somewhat resembles a World War II model, and even performs like one at the relatively slow speed of 300 mph, the Air Force emphasizes "this is not a behind-the-times aircraft."

The Vietnamese find it has the advantages of being easy to operate and maintain; that it takes a very short clearing for landing and take-off and at the same time presents a formidable firepower against Viet Cong guerillas.

It has been credited, in fact, with a third of all recorded ground force casualties among the Viet Cong. The aircraft carries either 2 50-caliber machine guns, 6 rockets or 1200 lbs of bombs.

Playground Daily News, Fort Walton Beach, FL, Thursday 04-07-1966, Volume 20, Number 44, pages 1-2.