Kelly/Curr - 24 Aug 79

24 August 1979 (F-111C A8-137) – 4th F-111 accident 

Aborted take-off and ejection Ohakea airbase, NZ

During an aborted take-off above refusal speed following a double engine surge and afterburner blowout (caused by ingestion of surface water excited by the aircraft’s nosewheels) the aircraft was unable to be stopped within the remaining runway. The navigator initiated ejection at 90 kts and approximately 150 ft from the end of the runway. The aircraft continued down the slope beyond the runway (a drop of 100 ft only 30 ft from the end of the runway) where it impacted a roadway embankment and caught fire. The ejection was successful, however, the pilot suffered considerable back injuries.

Pilot:            FLGOFF Mark Kelly   

Cat D – 1602 hrs total time / 139 hrs F-111

Navigator:    FLTLT Al “Big Al” Curr

Cat A – 4172 total time / 1401 hrs F-111