5 December 1956 – A Northrop XSM-62 Snark, 53-8172, N-69D test model, fitted with a new 24-hour stellar inertial guidance system, launches from Cape Canaveral Missile Test Annex, Florida. It wanders off-course, ignores destruct command, disappears over Brazil. It is found by a farmer in January 1983. The Day They Lost the Snark By J.
Robert N. Apple
Bob says he “Started flying the Hun at Luke AFB as an instructor in the mid to late 50s. Les Leavoy was my fearless leader in those days. What that man had to put up with from all the young pilots in the Squadron probably had something to do with him becoming such a great leader. I flew over 1000 hours as IP at the 4515th CCTS and also was an upgrade instructor for IPs at Luke.
My most impressive mission was when I got an F model at the end of the day after the other instructors had been carrying a write-up on the artificial-feel all day. I had a student on his dollar ride and as such he was front seat and I lounging in the back. On take-off, he launched into the sky in a most unusual manner. Being the stellar master of flying I proceeded to show him the proper way. I soon discovered the aircraft was about to teach us a lesson.
As a Hun driver knows the emergency procedure for total artificial-feel failure is very short; GET THE HELL OUT. The student informed me he would bail so I could not leave him there to die and proceeded to make a back seat landing from a straight -in for which I got a good chewing out, and after which I sat lower in the seat for a few days until my ass healed. Oh, for the good old days. I truly loved the F-100 and often think of the times, the people, and the ones who have gone West and wish we could do it just one more time together.”