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59-0069 How It Came To Be A Static Display By Joe Tardogno 21 July 1999

Hi, I was just reading about the story of how 0069 was moved from Griffiss to Great Falls. I was assigned to the 49th FIS in Oct. of 1982 and was stationed there until the last "Six", A/C 57-0453 left the CNY sky around the summer of 1987. I was a 328X0 avionics comm/nav. We shared the X-RAY shop with Instruments and MA-1 folks. Well, while reading the letter of how 0069 became a static display, I realized that all the author mentioned was that the aircraft crashed on the runway! This is not entirely true! I was working swing shift the night it happened! The names of the individuals escape me, but the fate of 0069 lay in the hands of an over-zealous JET troop TSGT, not a pilot! This particular TSGT was ground taxi certified for the F-106, one of two, which was assigned to the JET shop. The night in question, an engine trim was being performed, when things went wrong. After hooking up the cables, the aircraft would be taxied up into position before taking it into after-burner. Someone on the ground gave the all-clear, before checking the cables! There was enough slack on the right MLG, so that when the extra force of the aircraft lurching into after-burner was applied it literally ripped the gear from the aircraft, driving it right the wing. With the left MLG still attached the aircraft swung around off the trim-pad into the grass, allowing the TSGT time enough to shut the aircraft down. After this little miss-hap, 0069 became our new hanger-queen. Of course, we couldn't let the opportunity go to waste; we cannibalized everything we could that would keep the other aircraft flying. Everything from the 080 scope, to the 520 and 620 units, even the fuel quantity probes were yanked. I remember this task; I still have the JP4 soaked clothes to remind me! All in all, I remember those years at Griffiss, and treasure every one of them. The F-106a/b in my opinion was one of the best aircraft I had the pleasure of working on! I learned allot about aircraft maintenance in those 5 years. Thanks for the web page dedicated to the "Six". It brought back some good memories. Joe Tardogno

590069 - How it Became a Static Display by Joe Tardogno