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ASN Wikibase Occurrence # 77342
Last updated: 7 November 2019
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Date:19-JAN-1981
Time:
Type:Silhouette image of generic HAR model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different
Hawker Siddeley AV-8A Harrier
Owner/operator:VMAT-203 / USMC
Registration: 159368
C/n / msn: 712171/93
Fatalities:Fatalities: 1 / Occupants: 1
Other fatalities:0
Aircraft damage: Written off (damaged beyond repair)
Location:MCAS Cherry Point, Havelock, North Carolina -   United States of America
Phase: Take off
Nature:Military
Departure airport:MCAS Cherry Point, NC (KNKT)
Destination airport:
Narrative:
Last control and crashed on take off at MCAS Cherry Point, NC. Pilot failed to eject and was killed.

Obituary of pilot;

COL. JOHN H. DITTO
Call Sign: Ranger Died: Jan. 19, 1981
With 24 years of service, including many missions in Vietnam, Ditto, 44, was among the Marines' most experienced pilots and a member of the Golden Eagles, an elite group of naval aviators.

Though he had flown 4,900 hours, only 13.7 were in the Harrier. He'd been named commanding officer of an air group at Cherry Point that included Harriers and wanted to know how to fly all aircraft in his charge. He called it "a bear of an airplane," said his widow, Susan Page.

Before the crash, Ditto began having dreams -- premonitions, Page thinks -- about flying without an airplane. The day of the crash, she saw him fly past their house not long before a chaplain knocked on the door.

Ditto had ejected too late from his AV-8A after losing control while practicing a vertical takeoff. The investigation concluded he stayed with the plane too long trying to save it, citing his "limited experience."

Ditto had been married 13 years to Page, a former Miss Texas whom he met at an air show.

He left a daughter and a son who recently won his wings as a Marine F/A-18 pilot

Sources:

http://www.joebaugher.com/navy_serials/thirdseries20.html
http://www.pulitzer.org/archives/6725
http://www.harrier.org.uk/history/AV8APROD.PDF


Revision history:

Date/timeContributorUpdates
30-Nov--0001 00:00 ASN Archive
03-Aug-2011 13:41 Dr.John Smith Updated [Cn, Operator, Total fatalities, Total occupants, Other fatalities, Location, Country, Phase, Departure airport, Source, Narrative]
06-Dec-2017 16:44 B-Bop323 Updated [Narrative]

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