Today in History – March 27, 1963 – Converted T-28 crashes during test flight killing pilot

27 March 1963 – George W. Hoskins was the chief test pilot for North American Aviation on a test flight of a North American T-28A-NI Trojan, 52-1242, c/n 189-57, which had been converted to the first prototype RA-28, a proposed turboprop combat version for use in SE Asia which was later redesignated North American YAT-28E.

The aircraft was on a routine test flight south of Columbus, Ohio. During a high-speed dive, the tail began to flutter and separated from the aircraft. This aircraft used the Air Force version airframe as opposed to the Navy version which was beefed up for the tailhook found on Navy aircraft. The aircraft crashed on its 14th test flight. Hoskins was unable to bail out due to a jammed canopy. The aircraft was not equipped with an ejection seat.

A witness said they heard two explosions and seconds later the plane went into a spin and crashed to the ground.

Lieutenant George Hoskins pictured in the cockpit of a Grumman F-9F Panther during his service as a member of the ‘Blue Angels’ flight demonstration team.

In 1950 Ltjg. George Hoskins was a member of the Blue Angels.

Source: and Newspaper article from the March 28, 1963, Columbus Evening Dispatch

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