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.
Gary William Parent
“Gary attended fighter lead-in training at Myrtle Beach and then F-100 upgrade at Luke AFB, AZ. While there in November of 1970 he flamed out an F-100D on a high drag bombing pass on the East Tac Range at Gila Bend. As he pulled off on the pass he reported “two just flamed out” he had his hands on the ejection seat handles but wisely decided not to eject at the 490 knots that he was doing at the time.
The lead aircraft which was an ‘F’ model had his instructor who was getting a check ride in the front seat and the Stan-Eval pilot in the rear seat. His instructor said “you did what?” on the radio and the Stan-Eval pilot said “you heard him” on the radio. By then Gary had pull the throttle inboard, selected emergency fuel and hit the air-start switch.
Gary turned toward Gila Bend Aux field but since it was only 8 miles away he hit the end of the runway at traffic pattern altitude and doing 350 knots. Making a wide circling right hand turn he dropped the gear at what he remembered to be over 250 knots and then threw down the flaps at over the recommended speed.
He started his right base turn and touched down but as he reached for the drag chute he noticed the RPM to be decreasing through 19%. He stopped the aircraft on the runway and didn’t start shaking until he climbed out of the aircraft. Postflight inspection revealed the engine would not have restarted since the throttle cable was completely broken!”