A-10 Thunderbolt

The A-10 Thunderbolt, known as the Warthog, is an amazing military aircraft. It was designed for close air support of friendly ground troops, with the A-10 entering into service in 1976.

Several Warthogs have been to the Tri-Cities over the years, featured in airshows.

A-10 at Tri-Cities Air Show

I first encountered the A-10 while going to college at the University of Arizona. They flew out of the Davis-Monthan AFB and routinely flew over the UA campus.

They say, when it comes to aviation, there are two types of people; those that look up when they hear an aircraft and those that do not. I definitely look up!

One day, while we were in our apartment near the UA campus, we heard military aircraft pass by. Shortly after the aircraft passed overhead we heard a loud, quick explosion. We ran outside and could immediately see rising dark smoke near campus.

I always thought the aircraft that crashed was an A-10, until doing a little research for writing this blog post. We saw the A-10 almost every day. The aircraft that crashed was actually an A-70 Corsair II. (You can be so sure of something and still be wrong.)

The A-70 crashed after experiencing engine compression failure. The pilot guided the coasting aircraft to a street that was empty at the time narrowly missing a junior high school full of kids. Unfortunately, a few cars turned onto the street at about the same time he crashed. The pilot ejected from the jet shortly prior to the crash.