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.
Arthur B. Cornelius
A native of California, General Cornelius graduated from the Aviation Cadet Program and flew the F-100 Super Sabre at RAF Lakenheath in England, Cannon AFB in New Mexico, Misawa AB in Japan, Kunsan AB in Korea, and Bien Hoa AB in Viet Nam. After an assignment as a gunnery instructor at Luke AFB in Arizona, he returned to Viet Nam as a Forward Air Controller with the 101st Airborne Division, U.S. Army. Volunteering for a covert assignment he served as a Raven FAC in Laos and left active duty in 1968.
He was hired by Western Air Lines as a pilot, and joined Delta Airlines when the companies merged, flew most of the Boeing airliners of the late 20th Century as well as the DC-10 and L-1011. He joined the Air National Guard and flew the F-100 again, then the O-2 as a FAC, and the F-4C/D/E. He was a fighter squadron and group commander and the Deputy Commander of the California Air National Guard. He retired as a Brigadier General from the Air Force Reserve and as an international L-1011 Captain for Delta flying the Pacific.
While with the airlines, he served as a member of the Contract Negotiation, Merger, Legislative Liaison, Professional Standards, and Accident Investigation Committees, and as a Line Check Airman and the Base Safety Coordinator for Delta at Los Angeles. He published several aviation-related articles and at the time of his retirement had logged over 21,000 flight hours, of which over 2,100 were in the Super Sabre. He is a member of the American Legion China Post One, the Super Sabre Society, the Red River Valley Fighter Pilots Association, the Aviation Writers Association, the Military Officers Association of America, and the Air Force Association. (1)
Art flew 72 different aircraft in 43 years, for 22,000 hours.
(1) source: National Air & Space Museum https://airandspace.si.edu/support/wall-of-honor/arthur-b-cornelius