|The Crash of 1966|
| Photos of 1966 "Blue Angels" #141764 crash at CNE Toronto, Canada
and killed LCDR Dick Oliver
as related by Clarence Simonsen.
|In 1965, the American Navy "Flight Demonstration Team", "Blue Angels", preformed their first tour of Europe, which included air shows at Great Britain, France, Finland, Denmark, Holland, and Iceland.|
|The 1965 Team|
|On 16 January 1965, LCDR. Dick Oliver crashed Grumman F-11, Blue Angel #5, serial #141869, doing a dirty roll during practice, but received minor injuries. The new aircraft #5 became serial #141859, which he flew on the European tour.|
|Tiger serial #141859 June 1965.|
|This calendar image shows the Blues Angels over London, England, June 1965. The aircraft are #1 - serial 141764 [this will be flown by Dick Oliver in 1966 as #5, crashed at Toronto]|
|#2 - serial 141790|
|#3 - serial 141850|
|#4 - serial 141849|
|#5 - serial 141859
(Flown by LCDR Dick Oliver)
|#6 - serial 141738|
|In January 1966, Tiger serial #141764 is repainted as aircraft #5 and flown by Lt. Cmdr. Dick Oliver.|
| In 1966, the team was made up of the following -
[No. 1] Cdr. Bob Aumack [team leader], [No. 2] Capt. Fred Craig [USMC], [No. 3] Lt. Red Hubbard, [No. 4] Lt. Frank Mezzardi, [Solo pilot] Lt. Norman Gandia, and [Solo pilot] LCdr. Richard "Dick" Oliver, [second from right].
On Friday, 2 September 1966, the team were demonstrating at the CNE [Canadian National Exhibition] Toronto, Ontario, when Blue Angel #5, serial 141764, crashed killing Lt. Cmdr. Richard Oliver, 31 years of age.
|Photo of airport looking south, same as map above|
|The two solo pilots had just preformed a "knife edge" pass over the water of Lake Ontario. The two F11F Tiger fighters flew directly at each other, passed at high speed, then completed a complete roll over the water. As the #5 fighter came out of the roll it landed on the surface of Lake Ontario and water skied on the surface at approx. 500 MPH.|
|Blue Angel #5 coming out of the roll, flying from West to East over Lake Ontario.
[Photo "A" taken looking North to south]
|The day before [1 Sept. 66] Lt. Cmdr. Dick Oliver had almost struck the surface of Lake Ontario while practising this same routine. Two Canadian flying instructors on Toronto Island Airport reported he was lucky to be alive. On 2 September 1966, his luck ran out.|
|At 500 MPH the Tiger races on the surface of Lake Ontario [photo "B"] towards the steel sheet piling retaining wall [left] on Toronto Island Airport. The retaining wall extends six feet out of the water of Lake Ontario. The aircraft is water skiing at 38 degrees to the north side of runway #08 of the airport. The violent impact with the wall [photo "C"] will cause the nose and tail of the aircraft to break off, with the major part of the fighter thrown upwards into the air. The 1st point of impact was located 185 feet from the south-west corner [runway light] of the Toronto Island Airport.|
|1st Point of Impact|
|Just seconds after impact the nose section and tail can be seen falling from the aircraft. The pilot body can be seen exiting the cockpit area. The pilot legs, [from knee down] earphone, lip mike, helmet, left and right seat belt, ejection seat, nose and tail are all located within 500 to 800 feet of the 1st point of impact area. The fuselage and main wings travel 1000 ft to 2nd point of impact, which is located in the earth area 107 ft. 6 in. from the cross section of runway #08 and #15. The aircraft leaves a 20 ft. long gouge in the ground and breaks into thousands of pieces, which fan out in a east direction for 900 ft. The two wings break off and land on runway #08 and #15.|
|Air view - north at top - aircraft travel West [left] to East [right] Lake Ontario water on left.|
|2nd point of impact looking South-East to junction of runway #15 [left] and runway #08 [right] which join 107' 6 " behind the Metro. Toronto Police I-Dent. investigators. The object between the two Detectives on the left, is the starboard air-intake from the Tiger fighter, which has traveled 386' from 2nd point of impact. The pilot body is located on the left, [where the six officials are standing]. The pilot came to rest on the grass area 36' 6" from the edge of runway #08, 1,543' 6" from the 1st point of impact. The port wing is found on the left [runway #15] 209' from the 2nd point of impact.|
|The nose section [with pilot legs, knees down] are found 500 ft from the 1st point of impact.|
|The Tiger main wings on runway #08 and #15. After the second point of impact the main wings separate from fuselage, the engine and cowling become airborne and travel 849' 6" before leaving a 65' gouge in the ground, then become airborne again.|
|The man on the left is Deputy Chief of the Metro. Toronto Police Force, Harold Adamson, standing beside the final resting place of the Blue Angel jet turbine. The second tree the turbine struck is behind the D/Chief's head.|
|Metro. Toronto Police and U.S Navy investigators at the final resting place of the jet turbine. From the 1st point of impact the "Blue Angel" turbine has traveled a total distance of 3,483' 6", bounced off the ground twice and struck two trees, before coming to a stop at this location.|
|Note from the WEBMASTER:
Though the Pilots of the Blue Angels perform in public over 70 times a year (not counting the numerous practice sessions), making it one of the most dangerous tasks a Naval Aviator can perform, these men do it because they love it knowing that because of a myrid of things that could happen during any performance or practice session. Not only does the line from James Mitchner's "Bridges at Toko-Ri", "Where do we get such men?", apply to these men, but all Naval Aviators. Without a doubt, LCDR Richard Carl "Dick" Oliver was one of these men.