Plane crashes after ‘unauthorized take-off’

| August 11, 2018


“I’ve got a lot of people that care about me. It’s going to disappoint them to hear that I did this. I would like to apologize to each and every one of them. Just a broken guy, got a few screws loose, I guess,” the suspect said, according to the Seattle Post-Intelligencer.

At least he had the good sense not to hurt anyone else.

Full story HERE

Category: "Teh Stoopid"

Comments (43)

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  1. Sapper3307 says:

    If BerNasty had a son.

  2. Mick says:


    As Dave said, at least he didn’t take anyone with him.

  3. A Proud Infidel®™️ says:

    Bernathian pilot skills, did he graduate from the Dutch Rudder Aviation Academy?

  4. Mason says:

    Sounds like this guy was not just a better pilot than the “honorary chief” but also had a better working relationship with ATC

  5. 26Limabeans says:

    Callsign “ADIOS”

  6. The Stranger says:

    Did anyone happen to see a purple-suited drunk jump out of the plane yelling, “ The SlUrP cometh!”?

  7. Club Manager, USA ret. says:

    There are a lot easier ways to kill one’s self but I guess this guy wanted to go out with a flourish. Well done as long as no one else was hurt and at least now the airline knows the capability of its aircraft in case they want to supplement fares by performing at air shows.

  8. Perry Gaskill says:

    Slightly OT – Some of the people who run news websites these days should have their private parts gnawed by angry badgers. The PI story couldn’t be read unless you took a goofy boating survey, and the Fox piece had an auto-roll ad for a drug company that couldn’t be turned off.

    Auto rolls that can’t be stopped are about like putting ketchup on ice cream, or kissing Nancy Pelosi on the lips. They’re just plain disgusting and wrong…

    • Tallywhagger says:


    • Mason says:

      I saw Deadpool 2 last night and watched a man get ripped in half. I thought that would be to most disgusting thing I’d see/hear this weekend, but that pales in comparison to the visual image you conjure.

      On the lips? Ewwwwww

    • Daisy Cutter says:

      I knew a guy that worked in an emergency room and told me of a hermit that lived in this old shack “down by the river” (no lie). Well, it seems this guy had a bunch of cats and how he would get his jollies was to smear tuna fish all over his Johnson and let the cats lick it off.

      Well, one time it didn’t go so well and the cats got too aggressive and fought with each other. They tore the guy up in the groin area – blood everywhere. He had to call an ambulance and he ended up in my friend’s emergency room.

      There’s a visual for you.

  9. Mick says:

    A Marine Corps Lance Corporal stole an A-4 Skyhawk from MCAS El Toro, CA in 1986:

    ‘Marine Accused of Taking El Toro Jet on 2 a.m. Joy Ride’

    ‘A record-breaking young glider pilot, now an enlisted flight mechanic, took an unauthorized pre-dawn joy ride Friday in an $18-million jet fighter based at El Toro Marine Corps Air Station, officials said.

    He was identified as Lance Cpl. Howard A. Foote Jr., 21, of Los Alamitos. The Marine Corps said he donned a flight suit at 2 a.m. Friday and climbed aboard an unarmed A-4M Skyhawk. He took off from an unlighted runway, flew about 50 miles and returned to the base half an hour later, officials said. They didn’t know which direction he’d headed.

    By the time he returned, Lt. Col. Jerry Shelton said, the lights on the runway had been turned on, but it took Foote five passes to land.

    Foote was taken into custody and charged with wrongful appropriation of a government aircraft, Shelton said, a charge that carries with it a maximum sentence of two years in prison and a dishonorable discharge. He was taken to the stockade at Camp Pendleton.

    The single-seat fighter, no longer in production, is part of the 214th Marine Attack Squadron, whose mission is to provide close air support to the 3rd Marine Aircraft Wing. Foote is normally assigned to station operations and maintenance for visiting aircraft.

    Before joining the Marines in 1984, Foote broke several altitude records for glider pilots under the age of 21.

    “I missed my senior prom because I was flying,” Foote said in a 1984 interview before graduating from Los Alamitos High School.

    Foote had hoped to be accepted into the Marine Corps’ Enlisted Commissioning Program, with the ultimate goal of going to flight school, said Lt. Tim Hoyle, an El Toro public affairs officer.

    However, Hoyle said Friday, while flying at 42,500 feet in a glider, Foote suffered an aerial embolism, a blockage in the bloodstream caused by lack of oxygen. It’s an affliction similar to the “bends” suffered by divers.

    “He found out recently that he probably wouldn’t get accepted for flight school” as a result of the injury, Hoyle said.

    Shelton said Foote, dressed in a flight suit, drove up to the plane in a vehicle used to ferry pilots. A sentry on duty noticed him climbing into the cockpit, Shelton said, but “he couldn’t get his attention or stop him.” Nighttime maintenance work on aircraft, Shelton said, was “not unusual.”

    Foote started the aircraft, which is self-starting and needs no assistance from the ground, and began taxiing down the runway.

    “They knew something was wrong,” Shelton said, since the field was closed at that time. No air traffic controllers were on duty, so the plane was not tracked by radar nor were any other planes sent up to pursue Foote. (No explanation was offered for the Marines’ estimate that Foote flew 50 miles away.)

    Shelton said said that it was not necessary to “talk” Foote down. “He got down on his own,” Shelton said.

    Foote did not seem to be drunk or under the influence of drugs when taken into custody, Shelton said, although blood and urine samples were taken. Results weren’t available late Friday.

    The aircraft, which was given a thorough inspection Friday, did not appear to be damaged.

    While a student at Los Alamitos High School, Foote was no stranger to the inside of a cockpit. He broke his own California junior high-altitude record in 1984 when he flew a glider at 35,500 feet for 6 1/2 hours.

    A number of his record-breaking efforts were sponsored by the American-British Stratospheric Soaring Project, which provided him with equipment, including a pressurized flight suit, an astronaut-type helmet and a parachute. The sponsoring group is made up of military personnel and civilian engineers.

    Foote’s interest in aviation began when he was 12 and started building model airplanes with his father. He joined the Long Beach Soaring Club in 1981, flying from the Los Alamitos Armed Forces Reserve Center. The club was headed by a retired U.S. Naval commander who provided what Foote said was “almost military-like training.” From 1981 to 1984 Foote was also a member of the Civil Air Patrol.

    “I like to fly at high altitudes because there are so many things you have to watch and monitor, like reading the instrument panel and constantly paying attention to the rate of climb,” Foote said in 1984.

    Some of the best conditions for high-altitude flying, he said, were above the Mojave Desert in Kern County.’

    • Patrick408 says:

      I didn’t scroll down enough to see you already posted this, but its a great story with a better ending.

    • 5JC says:

      I heard about this but always thought it was a urban legend. Thanks for posting that.

  10. Jeff LPH 3, 63-66 says:

    I wonder if they made Foote, foote the bill for the aircraft fuel usage.

  11. David says:

    Would think a simple 2 week notice resignation would have beeb easier on the plane.

  12. Skidmark says:

    This guy has some skilz tho! Even the Fighter Pilots were impressed he didn’t stall. The footage without the audio would make anyone believe this was a Veteran pilot with lots of stick time!

  13. HMCS(FMF) ret says:

    Heard the F-15’s leave PDX last night – training flights usually head towards the coast, but the pilots were headed north pretty quick. Wondered if there was a problem, and it was confirmed when I saw the news.

    Sounded like the man had some problems in his life.

    Also – I grew up not far from El Toro and remember the A4 story.

    • Club Manager, USA ret. says:

      Is the Oregon FANG now flying 15’s? They had deuces when I was a RAFSOB there in early 60’s after PIA closed. WAR STORY ALERT: I remember they had to deploy to Alaska after a huge quake to man the air defense posture when everything broke. Spent 4 1/2 years there and loved it.

  14. Slick Goodlin says:

    I don’t think the Air Force has ever detailed, “exactly” how they would stop an aircraft over a populated area, Sparrow, Sidewinder, 20mm burst at 100 rounds per second?
    A lot of overkill with the possibility of collateral damage.
    How about an aerial version of the police,”PIT”, manuever? A skillfull little nudge into the ground?

    • 5JC says:

      Here is hoping we don’t ever have to find out.

    • AW1Ed says:

      How about an aerial version of the police,”PIT”, manuever? A skillfull little nudge into the ground?

      Certainly not- that would pretty much be a suicide mission. A possibility could be to ‘escort’ the offending aircraft out to sea, and let it run out of fuel.

      Your idea isn’t without merit, though. In WWII Brit pilots protecting England would flip Hitler’s ‘Buzz Bombs’ with a wing tip- the bombs simply flew straight and level until running out of a carefully measured amount of gas.

      Military History Link
      buzz bomb RAF

      • Slick Goodlin says:

        “pretty much be a suicide mission”

        Not necessarily, in May 1983, two Israeli Air Force aircraft, an F-15 Eagle and an A-4 Skyhawk, collided during a training exercise over Israel. The F-15 managed to land safely at a nearby airbase, despite having its right wing almost completely sheared off in the collision.

  15. Used to be StillServing says:

    I live a about 2 miles from where the plane crashed. Heard it explode

  16. 5th/77thFA says:

    Clicked on the full story link. Good read & a Fox News Miss Thang Cutie pie on video. 7K + comments at end of story, with a multitude of trolls blaming President Trump. Go figure.

  17. 2/17 Air Cav says:

    As self murders go, this one was all about style points. It will be hard to top it.

  18. AnotherPat says:

    The Pilot’s name was Richard Russell, age 29. The link has pictures of him:

    He was married and wanted to join the Military.

    So sad.

    Suicide IS a disease, just as cancer, diabetes, high blood pressure, etc. It is not a coward’s way out. It is a mental disease of the brain that is inherited and possibly triggered by an event.

    My heart goes out to his family.