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DC-8 STOL at Marble Mountain

Posted By:
Fareed Guyot
Young Eagles Pilot or VolunteerAirVenture Volunteer
#1 Posted: 3/24/2011 16:10:23 Modified: 3/24/2011 22:11:01


In 1969 a Seaboard World Airlines DC-8 was on approach to Runway 17L at Da Nang Air Base in Vietnam. It was 2 a.m. and the crew mistook Marble Mountain Air Facility for Da Nang and landed on its 3,300-foot strip, where helicopters and OV-1s were normally based. A U.S. service member shot this video of the preparations and eventual short field departure of one of the largest airliners of the day.





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Robert Dingley
Homebuilder or Craftsman
#2 Posted: 3/24/2011 20:41:12

I was told about this DC-8 by a former Marine pilot who was stationed at Marble Mt. when it happened.

 Fast foreward, Chuck and I were crewing a Bell 212 in Venice, LA, down river from New Orleans. Chuck was living in Isla Mujeres, Mexico and commuting to work via TACA Airlines. In May,1988, he was seated in coach on a TACA 737. They ran through some epic thunder storms. While center punching a real frog stangler south of Navy, New Orleans , both engines flamed out. The Captain couldn't stretch it into Navy and N.O. Intenational was 10 or 12 miles further. When they broke into the clear, there was a levee under them.

The Captain greased it on the grass in front of the NASA facility (Michaud) that builds shuttle fuel tanks. The Captain, I forget his name was a famous Salvadoran AF vet, a national hero and wore an eye patch for combat wounds. Amazing airmanship. Down there they know how to land Cubs in dry river beds and dirt roads before they can shave, after all.

They stripped the interior, performed maintenance on the engines and added a little fuel.( For some reasons, it was discovered that the tanks had somehow become filled with air).  Another crew used max power and got it off the grass levee and made a straight in to 28 at KMSY 12 miles away.

Chuck did not even get a free drink on his next flight. He said that he was at least counting on a tee shirt. Here is a link to a photo.



Michael Mayes
#3 Posted: 3/25/2011 09:13:33

Nice video and story.   Very nice flying in both, given weird situations.

Thanks Robert and Fareed!