Pilot Stalled Doomed Phantom


A Navy investigation found that Cmdr. Michael Norman accidentally stalled the QF-4 Phantom he was flying during a steep turn, causing the accident that killed him and his navigator at Point Mugu Air Show in California last April. The findings vindicated the Navy’s jet fighter maintenance program. Shortly after the crash, two former Navy mechanics came forward saying they quit the service because of problems with maintenance. “No evidence of any kind could be found which showed any maintenance-related actions contributed to this mishap,” the report said. The accident occurred as the aircraft was turning, in formation with three other Navy jets, to set up for a landing. Cmdr. Norman and Marine Capt. Andrew Muhs died after ejecting from the aircraft about 150 feet AGL. The accident occurred in front of 25,000 spectators but no one on the ground was hurt.