28 February 1941 – The Republic F-84 Thunderjet was an American turbojet fighter-bomber aircraft. Originating as a 1944 United States Army Air Forces (USAAF) proposal for a “day fighter”, the F-84 first flew in 1946. Although it entered service in 1947, the Thunderjet was plagued by so many structural and engine problems that a 1948
Barty Ray Brooks
Barty Ray Brooks was born in Martha Township, Oklahoma, 2 December 1929. He was the third child of Benjamin Barto Brooks, a farmer, and Maye Henry Brooks. The family later moved to Lewisville, Texas. Brooks graduated from Lewisville High School in 1948, then studied agriculture at Texas A&M University, College Station, Texas.
While at Texas A&M, Brooks was a member of the Reserve Officers Training Corps (R.O.T.C.). On graduation, 30 May 1952, Brooks was commissioned as a second lieutenant, United States Air Force Reserve.
Lieutenant Brooks was trained as a pilot at Columbus Air Force Base, Mississippi, and Laredo Air Force Base, Texas. In 1954, he was assigned to the 311th Fighter Bomber Squadron, 58th Fighter Bomber Group, Taegu Air Base (K-2), Republic of South Korea. Brooks flew the Republic F-84 Thunderjet and North American Aviation F-86 Sabre. When he returned to the United States he was assigned to the 1708th Ferrying Wing.
On 10 January 1956 Barty Ray was ferrying a brand new F-100C #54-1907 from the North American Aviation Inc. assembly plant in Palmdale, CA, to George Air Force Base, about 42 miles away. As Brooks approached the landing field, another pilot also ferrying a new F-100 noticed that Brook’s landing gear was not correctly positioned.
“Concerned that he would not be able to steer the fighter after touching down, Brooks diverted to Edward Air Force Base, 36 miles (57 kilometers) to the northwest, where a larger runway and more emergency equipment was available.”(1)
“The F-100C Super Sabre had no flaps and required a high speed landing approach. Lieutenant Brooks had only 674 total flight hours as a pilot, and just 39 hours in the F-100.
During his final approach to the runway Brooks allowed the fighter to slow too much and the outer portion of the wings stalled and lost lift. This shifted the wings’ center of lift forward, which caused the airplane to pitch up, causing even more of the outer wing to stall.
Edwards Air Force Base is the center of flight testing for the U.S. Air Force. In preparation for a test later that afternoon, the base film crews had their equipment set up along the runway and captured the last seconds of Brook’s flight on film. This is the most widely seen crash footage, and is still in use in pilot training. It is named “The Sabre Dance.””(1)
Video of the deadly Sabre Dance can be seen at https://youtu.be/UPkqTsZmBRc
The remains of 1st Lieutenant Barty Ray Brooks were interred at the Round Grove Cemetery, Lewisville, TX.