CNO Commends Blue Angel
Pilot Lands A Disabled Tiger Jet

Published in the October 1958 Issue of Naval Aviation News
Photographer: Unknown

The Chief of Naval Operations, Admiral Arleigh Burke, has commended a 31-year-old Navy pilot who landed a disabled F11F Tiger jet on a Buffalo, New York, airport instead of ejecting from the aircraft over a populated area.

Naval aviator, Lt. John R. Dewenter, elected to stay with the carrier-type jet fighter despite the fact that following a muffled explosion and severe vibrations, the craft's temperature soared past the point where ejecting from a jet is considered an absolute pilot safety requirement.

Lt. Dewenter, a member of the Navy's "Blue Angels," was participating in an air show with fellow team members when the incident occurred at 8,000 feet on August 2, over Clarence, New York.

The aviator landed the F11F on a 5,600-foot runway. The high speed necessary in the emergency landing caused the jet to overrun the runway by several hundred feet. The remaining five members of the jet team continued the Navy's big demonstration.

BAAA Note: Lt. Jack Dewenter was the Lead Solo but was flying #6 solo aircraft at the time. It was Lt. John Damian aircraft that he crashed in.

John Damian and I had inaugurated our "back-to-back" pass that year. John did the inverted portion of that maneuver but had been experiencing low oil pressure warning lights which forced him to break off the pass and return immediately to normal flight. For the sake of the maneuver he convinced me that morning that we should switch aircraft for the show. We did, and you know what followed. What incredible timing!

Jack Dewenter

Below are links to what was published in the August 4, 1958 issue of Buffalo News. Thanks to Linda O'Connor Payne of San Diego, who was 8 years old back then for sending Photocopies were sent to us so we could put them on the Blue Angels Alumni Association Site.

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Linda O'Connor Payne's