Home / Air / Video of F-18 Crash at El Toro Air Show: Pilot Survived 73Gs force after Hornet smashed into the ground

Video of F-18 Crash at El Toro Air Show: Pilot Survived 73Gs force after Hornet smashed into the ground

Video of F-18 Crash at El Toro Air Show: Pilot Survived 73Gs force after Hornet smashed into the ground

On April 24, 1988, Marine Corps Colonel Jerry Cadick, then commanding officer of MAG-11, was performing stunts at the MCAS El Toro Air Show before a crowd of 300,000 when he crashed his F/A-18 Hornet at the bottom of a loop that was too close to the ground.

The aircraft was in a nose-high attitude, but still carrying too much energy toward the ground when it impacted at more than 300 mph.

Col. Cadick was subjected to extremely high G forces that resulted in his face making contact with the control stick and sustaining serious injury.

His Hornet smashed into the ground, the abrupt stop subjecting his body to 73Gs. Still, as of today, this is by far the highest record of anyone surviving such a force.

He broke his arm, elbow, ribs, exploded vertebrae and collapsed a lung. Col. Cadick survived and retired from the Marine Corps.  The F/A-18 remained largely intact but was beyond repair

 

The impact actually tore his shoulder harness which made him bend in half. He hit the control stick with his face so hard that he broke most of it and left his eyeballs dangling halfway down his cheeks. In addition to that, his neck was broken in three places, he broke five ribs, both legs, one arm and one of his vertebra exploded.

Some of these alone are enough to kill a man. Cadick however, survived and believed he would fly again.

Related Article: HD Video of CF-18 Crash And pilot Interview After the crash

For many years after that, he had to put himself together both physically and mentally.As he put it, the doctors put him back really well, and the physical rehabilitation was hard but doable. It was the stripping of his wings and forced retirement from the Marines after 25 years of service that really did him in. He pulled through alright though.

Today, although many didn’t really believe it in their hearts, Cadick obtained a private flying license and started a company called Tactical Military Air Training Systems. He managed to combine the two things he loves most in his life, and created one of the most fascinating aviation stories of all time.

 

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2 comments

  1. While I can fully understand the necessity for pumping up the aura of military pilots through permitting them showing off at public air displays, I must say that it is absolutely absurd to permit air displays to take place in crowded areas at such a low altitude, all with the permission of the authorities.
    Normal car driving in public locations is restricted in speed and there are many rules and regulations to be obeyed. In air displays, the authorities forget about the rules and regulations of safety and permit an excited human pilot, who suffers from the normal emotions of a human being, to be pumped up by the exhilaration of the occasion where very often mistakes are made. In this case, it is clear that the pilot made a heavy error in thinking that with such a heavy wing loading his aircraft would recover. Anyone working the mathematics of this maneuver would know that he would never recover as he slowed too much at the top.
    One must not forget the Ramstein display in Germany or the Ukranian display, or Arthur “Bud” Holland whose stupidities were not reprimanded by ten of his more senior commanders, and so he was permitted to kill his crew and all knew that it would happen. Even Sheila Widnall was so cold and so insensitive when Holland killed his crew in the B-52. The widow wife and three fatherless children of the co-pilot told the story of her husband telling his commanders about the dangerous flying of Holland, who refused to listen. These are not accidents, these are incidents endorsed and sighed by the authorities. Just because the Military and Millionaires have money it does not mean that they have the right to fool young people to kill themselves and others. I cannot see the logic of my family being forced to have pilots flying flammable fuel tankers over my family home without my permission, where mathematical statistics do prove that crashes will happen where after my wife and children will be given decent funerals and no medals will be pinned on their chest. The whole process is absurd, inhuman and changes people into insensitive robots as Sheila Widnall, The commanders who did not reprimand Holland and in other issues as the Marines where Lt Colonel Katie Gordano was sacked for pushing women soldiers beyond their limits. Hearing male generals as Robert Neller seen in the video seem to confirm that the Military robbed them of their natural masculinity and feminity and turned them into war machines without feelings and emotions which are percolating into civilian life. No wonder Katie Germano was sacked………..and she is so void of human emotions that she does not even understand what she did wrong. The USA army must never turn young men and women into heartless killers as shown by the video on boot camp.
    https://youtu.be/yNxlY3rvaHY
    https://youtu.be/KbHV-vYpXv0

    • “I cannot see the logic of my family being forced to have pilots flying flammable fuel tankers over my family home without my permission, where mathematical statistics do prove that crashes will happen where after my wife and children will be given decent funerals and no medals will be pinned on their chest. The whole process is absurd, inhuman and changes people into insensitive robots…”

      Carmel Pule – I would recommend that you and your family not get out of bed in the morning, let alone do anything around the house, or even go outside. You have higher probability of being killed slipping in your shower, choking on food that you eat at your dinner table, or driving around in your car.

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