FB-111A      68-290
Garfield Plantation
December 23, 1975

529 BMS, 380 BMW
Plattsburgh AFB, New York
The aircraft departed Plattsburgh AFB at 0920 for a low level penetration/bombing training mission along the "Olive Branch 27" training route. On board were Captain Robert Pavelko, Pilot and Captain Michael  Sprenger, Navigator. Entry into the training route  was made  normally from  the coast , passing the Princeton VOR at 500 feet altitude. While approaching the Ashland Radar Bombing Range for the first simulated weapon release, the right engine  failed and threw a blade through the saddle fuel tank . Pavelko began a climbing turn to the northeast for an emergency landing at Loring AFB, but the leaking fuel had caused a massive fire down the fuselage back bone. This eventually severed a hydraulic line, causing a rudder hard over and resulted in an uncontrollable yaw/roll to the right. The crew ejected in the escape pod successfully and were extracted from the woods a short time later by a Huey from the 112th Medevac unit of the Maine Army National Guard. The aircraft plowed into a small beaver pond and disintegrated. This was one of three FB-111A crashes in Maine. The second happened just a few miles from this one in 1977.
"Hey Dad, is that a piece of airplane in the tree over your head?" After 2 failed attempts to locate this crash site, Michael Noddin and I found it during a deer hunting trip in November 2011. It appears to be a section of conduit full of control wiring, that has been in this tree for 36 years.
A section of the lower fuselage skin, painted white Another of many small sections of fuselage skin at this site
The end of one of the wing flap support slide assemblies with actuation lever
Engine parts
One of the two main AC electrical generators
Main landing gear trunion
Engine compressor section turbine blade
Section of wing
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