United States Navy VFA-82



21st June 1994

NAS Cecil Field, Jacksonville, Florida
Lt. Adam Taff



I wanted to give you some information that may help you update one of your ejections you have listed.  You have an aircraft listed as 28 June 1994.  The ejection actually took place on 21 June 1994.  The name of the pilot is Adam Taff.  The aircraft bureau # was 163467. It was attached to VFA-82 at NAS Cecil Field in Jacksonville, FL.  This was the CAG bird, so the side # was 300. We were part of CVW-1 at the time on board the USS America.  As of this date the squadron has been decommissioned, the base closed, and the ship used as a target and sunk off the coast of Virginia.  (Too much info  J ) The ejection took place over Ocala National Forest in Florida.  From what I can remember I believe the pilot ejected outside of the ejection envelope.  The plane supposedly hit the ground at about 500 knots 90 degrees nose down. It made one hell of a hole. I actually helped with the recovery of this aircraft.  We could not find the ejection seat for many days, but it was finally found on the last day of our recovery.  The cause of the crash was found to be a faulty turbine blade. It supposedly tore through the engine and took out the flight controls and backup controls too.  This locked the aircraft into a nose down position.  I believe the pilot was on a bombing run.  The squadron was not charged with a Class A mishap because it was determined that maintenance personnel had done their jobs correctly and this was a manufacturer defect.  We were proud to keep our safety record. I was an AME in the Navy so I was glad that the seat worked as advertised and the pilot lived to fly another day.  If I can help you with any other information regarding this aircraft please let me know.  I found some pictures on the internet before it crashed. 

Michael E. Howard
(in email 9th March 2006)