Accidents – Incidents 1984

Summer 1984 F-104G R-707 726ESK RDAF incident pilot ok
It suffered a crash landing at Aalborg somewhere in the summer of 1984, where the aircraft ended in the grass. Aircraft could be repaired soon after again. Beneath a photo showing the aircraft in the grass, in the background the skidding marks can be seen. (Photo RDAF)
24 January 1984 TF-104G 27+95 JBG34 GAF written off pilots killed
This TF-104G crashed during landing on home base Memmingen when during the final approach it hit the ground some 50 meters short of the runway. This was caused by a sudden downwind. Gladly both pilots Hptm Hans-Joachim Zabler and Olt Ulrich Tesmer could eject in time and were safe. The aircraft was a write-off although quite in 1 piece. Beneath some photos of the crashed TF-104G taken at the crashsite, and stored in a shelter, thanks to Michael Schneider.
27 January 1984 F-104S MM6752/51-44 51St155gr AMI written off pilot killed
It struck Molinatico, Parma mountain ridge (Monti Della Garfagnana, Toscana) during bad weather. The pilot Major Gabriele De Podesta (32) was sadly killed instantly. Some years ago the crash site was visited by a group, read more about this here:  Pictures beneath are from the AMI flight safety magazine (thanks to Eugenio Lo Verso), another picture shows the aircraft in one piece 2 years earlier. The aircraft had clocked 2180 flying hours till this day. The accident happened 9:50 AM local time and the aircraft was configured with tip/pylon tanks.
6 February 1984 F-104G 4-732 141filo THK written off pilot ok
(USAF serial 63-12732) It crashed at or near home base Murted. Pilot was ok, cause of the accident unknown. The picture beneath was taken by Johan van der Wei at home base Murted in June 1983, eight months before it was lost in the accident.
29 February 1984 F-104G MM6531/3-37 3St28gr AMI written off pilot killed
It crashed, 14 minutes after takeoff near Mezzolara di Budrio (Bologna) during a low-level mission from Villafranca sadly killing pilot  2*Lt Ettore Domenico Proto. Ground contact was caused by possible spatial disorientation in bad weather conditions at Mezzolara di Budrio. Pilot ejected but killed because he was too low. The aircraft had reached 3041 flying hours total. The newspapers revealed: Shortly before 1.40pm on 29 February 1984, second lieutenant Domenico Ettore Proto took off from the military airport of Villafranca (Verona) to undertake a training mission. In a few minutes (1.45 pm) the plane is near Mezzolara: the atmospheric conditions are prohibitive, the fog, on the ground and at altitude, affects visibility and the pilot, probably subject to the phenomenon defined as spatial disorientation, loses control of the aircraft and crashes near via Pianella n.46, less than 2 kilometers from the main square of Mezzolara. The plane plunges into the ground, forming a crater with a diameter of 8-10 meters and a depth of 3-4 metres. The earth, soft due to the rain that has fallen incessantly in recent days, allows the F 104 to sink. The wreckage of the fighter is scattered within a radius of several hundred metres. For the twenty-six-year-old pilot there is nothing that can be done. The terrible accident does not cause any further deaths, even if the plane, before touching the ground, grazes three rural buildings and, due to the blaze and the movement of air, a shed is roofed off and a pigsty is partially destroyed. The aircraft was carying an Orpheus recce pod. Beneath some photos taken at the crash site (AMI flight safety magazine thanks to Eugenio Lo Verso and local newspapers) and a photo taken of the aircraft MM6531 back in 1981.
2 March 1984 CF-104 104749 1CAG RCAF written off ground
2 March 1984 CF-104 104868 1CAG RCAF written off ground
These starfightes were destroyed in a hangar-fire at 1CAG SRO on Sollingen AFB on this Friday night. The armours were doing a stray voltage check inside the hangar, they had inserted the necessary safety pins in the wing jettison safety spots by the tip tanks. when they selected jettison tip tanks they actually jettisoned in the hangar. The cause of this was a broken micro switch in the wing. When the tip tank jettisoned it hit the hydraulic test stand and started a fire. The fire department actually went through the breakaway fence and was at the hangar very quickly, they said that the only thing that saved the 16 aircraft inside were the hangar doors which were partially closed. They put the nozzle in and put out the fire. Next to these two written off Starfighters a few others suffered damage as well but could be repaired.
During the clean up it was noticed that one of the ejection seats has gone through the roof, dummy rounds had cooked off, and the skin of several aircraft had melted off and you could poke the actual main fuel tank with your finger. it was that close. Had it not been for the quick response of the fire department the damage would have been more since there were 6 aircraft in the maintenance hangar connected to SRO, 3 fuel trucks parked behind SRO and the LOX building was very close along with heavy equipment (MSE), refueling, and aircraft supply. Beneath photos showing both aircraft in better days, and a photo showing the damage to the aircraft and hanger (Thanks to Dave Weir)
27 March 1984 F-104S 6903/9-903 142filo THK written off pilot ok
It crashed near or at Murted AB. The pilot ejected safely. Beneath photos taken of the aircraft when it was participating in a squadron exchange in Lechfeld (1981).
29 March 1984 F-104G 23+30 JBG34 GAF incident pilot ok
This day this aircraft suffered a landing-accident during highway-strip exercises at Sage (BAB A27), near Alhorn. Taxied off concrete with 1 main wheel while entering the parking platform. Lateron it was repaired and got new camouflage paint "Norm83" and was sent back to JBG34 on 1 October 1984. Recently there has been a video released about this accident.
5 April 1984 TF-104G 28+33 JBG34 GAF written off ground
It was severely damaged at Memmingen Air Base when the right main wheel got broken while taxiing. There were no casualties. On April 12th that year it was brought over to LVR1 at Erding for repair but the damage was calculated as beyond economical repair. It was officially declared written off and struck of charge on August 15, 1984. It was used for gaining spare-parts and after it has been used for a few years as Battle Damage repair instructional air-frame at Erding it got eventually scrapped in 1988.
16 April 1984 F-104A 4249 8TFS RoCAF written off pilot ok
(USAF serial 56-808) This Starfighter crashed this day due to unknown circumstances but most likely technical problems. Pilot Tien Li-Jei ejected safely.
8 May 1984 F-104G 8146/6-146 161filo THK written off pilot killed
It crashed near or at Diyarbakir. Pilot Hv. Plt. UTGM Ali Büyükdicle  (25 years old) was sadly killed in this accident when could not recover in time during a simulated attack on the Air Base and struck the ground.
10 May 1984 F-104S MM6811/9-45 9St10gr AMI written off pilot killed
It crashed on monte Viola mountain at 700 m altitude between Itri and Formia, Latina, during a night-mission. Sadly pilot Lt Pasquale Pezzullo was killed. It happened at 10:45 PM and the aircraft had configuration tip/pylon tanks. The crashsite was visited a few years ago, read more about this trip here: Total flying hours was 1918. Beneath a photo of the aircraft taken in 1982. See also youtube video taken in 2019 (35 years after the crash) here.
22 May 1984 F-104G 8093/4-093 142filo THK written off pilot ok
This former Netherlands Air Force Starfighter was lost near or at its homebase Murted. The pilot was gladly safe. Beneath a photo taken of the aircraft at Murted in October 1983 by Hans Nijhuis.
23 May 1984 F-104G 26+74 MFG2 GNavy incident pilot ok
This day this German Marine F-104G had water contact and escaped unhurt. The pilot was on a practice weapon delivery pass on a target in the water, towed by a ship. During the strafing pass he got distracted and misjudged the delivery parameter like dive angle and minimum delivery altitude. He fired the gun at a point where he should have been already in the recovery. During the recovery the APC (Automatic Pitch Control) fired twice and made the situation even worse. The tail of the Starfighter did hit the water and the drag chute compartment was ripped off and even the chute deployed. The aircraft was repaired soon. Beneath a photo taken from another ship showing the impact on the water and also a photo showing the damage to the aircraft body.
5 June 1984 F-104G 8330/6-330 161filo THK written off pilot ok
This F-104G Starfighter was written off due to an unknown reason on this date. Gladly the pilot was ok.
14 June 1984 F-104S MM6745/51-37 51St/155gr AMI written off pilot ok
It crashed during shooting exercises when the aircraft encountered technical problems near Capo della Frasca, west coast of  Sardinia. The pilot Lt.B.Massimo Boccardo attempted to restart the engine two times but without success. He could eject in time and was safe. It happened at 3:37 PM local time. The pilot was rescued out of the sea. Total flying hours of the aircraft was 1181,15. The aircraft was configured with tip/pylon tanks and a bomb dispenser. Beneath pictures showing the engine which was found in the sea.
21 June 1984 F-104S 6857/9-857 191filo THK written off pilot killed
21 June 1984 F-104S 6883/9-883 191filo THK written off pilot ok
Both aircraft crashed after a mid-air collision together near village Tire, Izmir. Gladly the pilot of aircraft 6883 could eject in time. Sadly the pilot of aircraft 6857, Maj Muammer Sezer (35) was killed.
27 June 1984 F-104B 4121 8TFS RoCAF written off pilots killed
(USAF serial 56-3723) This Starfighter crashed into sea near Tai Zhong during dissimilar air combat training. Both pilots, Lieutenant Colonel (posthumous Colonel) WANG Rong Gui (38) and Captain FU Zhong Ying (28) were both missing after the accident and were officially declared killed after six month.  The cause of the accident was an engine flame out during dissimilar air combat training against F-5E. The pilots were not able to restart the engine and were likely too late to eject.
July 1984 F-104S MM6805/53-10 53St21gr AMI incident pilot ok
During an unknown situation, but most likely an emergency landing using the barrier with his hook (see barrier cable hanging), it was damaged due to a front wheel collapse. The pilot was ok. Aircraft could be repaired soon again. Photo beneath was found inside the AMI flight safety magazine thanks to Eugenio Lo Verso. It happened early July and it went in storage from July 17th for CAT3 repair.
2 July 1984 TF-104G MM54261/20-26 20gr AMI incident pilots ok
This two-seater encountered a landing accident at home base Grosseto but could be repaired later on. Pilots were both ok. Beneath a photo showing the aircraft on the Grosseto platform in 1985, still under repair..
10 July 1984 F-104G 25+62 LVR1 GAF written off pilot ok
Crashed, after take off from Eggebek on a house near Stade and Gross Sterneberg, killing 1 women and injuring 2 other civilians on the ground. During the flight Olt Ralf Dietl encountered an engine-failure caused by FOD and ejected safely. Beneath newspaper articles regarding both German F-104 accidents this day.
10 July 1984 RF-104G 23+18 MFG2 GNavy written off pilot ok
This plane crashed into a field after becoming uncontrollable (rolling to the left which didn't stop) just after leaving the runway during a formation take-off. The pilot, a US.Navy exchange-pilot Lt Robert Hummel ejected safely. Beneath a photo showing 23+18 in one piece early 80s. Also newspaper articles regarding both German F-104 accidents this day.
19 July 1984 F-104G 8153/6-153 161filo THK written off pilot killed
During the 'KASIRGA-84' exercise, on a profile R-01 mission, the aircraft hit a hill in the east of the location of a
radar site near Izmit. The pilot Hv. Plt. Ütgm. Necat Can  (29 years old) was sadly killed in this accident.
24 July 1984 F-104G 4342 7TFS RoCAF written off pilot killed
(USAF serial 64-17764) It crashed due to unknown reason 45 NM northwest of Ching Chuan Kang AB. Pilot Chang Tsong-Tien was sadly killed.
30 July 1984 F-104G D-8104 UFO KLu written off pilot ok
This was the last starfighter which was lost by the KLu due to an accident. It crashed in the forest Serkenrode, North of Siegen, Germany after touching some tree's during a low-level navigation exercise mission together with a TF104G. The pilot, ELt. Peter Leenen ejected safely after the aircraft started to burn. It happened during a low-level navigation mission in western Germany when a simulated attack had to be done at a simulated SAM-site. Alpha (TF104G) and Bravo (8104) were flying in formation to the initial point (IP) where the run in was started and both aircraft headed towards target. On a given moment alpha thought he saw the target and judged the pitch up point. (which is a point where aircraft rises to a given height 'Apex'. From this ‘Apex’ the attack will take place by diving). The 'Apex' was decided 2600 feet. However the target mentioned by alpha was not correct. It was a radar-station situated some distance behind the real target. As a result the formation entered the pull-up 0.7 NM too late before the actual target. Also Alpha was flying to an Apex of 3000 feet in stead of 2600 feet. When Alpha detected the problems he broke off the attack. Bravo saw this and realized he was also engaging the wrong target. Also he saw the real target at his left hand, decided to attack and started to dive. Before the attack an attack angle of 5 degrees was calculated but because the pull-up was encountered too late (the aircraft was already too close to the target) he chose an attack angle of 12 degrees instead. Next he overflew the target low, simulated a bomb-release and pulled his 104 up. Then he saw a hill just behind the target and analyzed he would struck the trees on it. He pulled as hard as he could but indeed struck the trees which resulted in the F-104 catching fire and crashing. The pilot however could eject in time and was safe. Because the pilot chose a bigger attack angle then calculated the aircraft could not recover in time to avoid the hill. Also the hill was 140 feet higher then mentioned during the briefing and also the height of the trees was not included. The investigation also made a similar flight over the area and detected one possible solution: “Break off the attack always at those circumstances”. J79 on board had nr 414285. The aircraft took off that day with clocked 3074.5 hours. Beneath a unique photo of its last take off, Volkel Air Base 30 July... Thanks to Stefan Goossens for this photo and Jeroen Jonkers and Harry Prins for the newspaper articles.
7 August 1984 F-104J 46-8620 5W204sq JASDF written off pilot ok
It crashed into sea, at 10:40AM local time, near Hyuganada after take-off from its home base Nyutabaru AB. It was the last operational Japanese Starfighter loss. The accident was caused by an engine stall during intercept training. The aircraft came down about 100 km East of Nyuutabaru AB. First Lieutenant Ishibashi Seijirou ejected safely and was rescued. Beneath a photo showing the aircraft while with 207sq some years earlier (thanks to Peter Mühlböck)
10 August 1984 TF-104G 27+26 JBG34 GAF written off pilot ok
It run off the runway at home base Memmingen due to a broken nose wheel and was written-off. The only pilot Hptm Hans Joachim Zabler ejected safely. The aircraft was officially declared withdrawn beyond economical repair on March 12th, 1985 and went to Leipheim, Fassberg and Memmingen as BDRT aircraft. Finally it was scrapped and the cockpit section is now displayed in a history room at Memmingen, coded "34" with JaboG 34 badge as seen beneath.
27+26 cockpit
10 August 1984 F-104G 22+05 JBG33 GAF written off pilot ok
It crashed 13 miles of Beja AB after pilot Olt Jurgen Baumgarten lost control during a dive recovery in ACM training. He ejected safely. Beneath a photo taken in 1977 at Ramstein by Manfred Faber.
22+05 F-104G JaboG 33 Ramstein 31Jul77
26 Sept 1984 F-104G 7069/6-069 161filo THK written off pilot ok
This Starfighter crashed into the Marmara Sea, likely after encountering technical problems, gladly the pilot was safe.
17 October 1984 RF-104G 23+16 MFG2 GNavy written off pilot killed
It crashed into the sea near Aeroe, Denmark after hitting the mast of a small navy-vessel (Schnellboot klasse143A). Pilot KorvKpt Reinhard Rademacher (37) was sadly killed by this accident. The aircraft executed a simulated attack on the vessel. Beneath a photo of 23+16 taken likely at Eggebek.
24 October 1984 TF-104G 5726/6-726 162filo THK written off pilots ok
This two seater Starfighter crashed at home base Bandirma during evening flying (during landing or take-off). Both pilots ejected and were fine, the aircraft wreck ended up at the dump of Bandirma as this photo shows provided by Ibrahim Kuvvetli.
30 October 1984 F-104S MM6793/51-47 53St/21gr AMI written off pilot killed
This aircraft catched fire after an explosion during a ground check while on the flight line at Cameri.  During the pre-taxi testing of the fuel tank pressurization system, a voilent fire developed which from the front tail section subsequently affected the whole aircraft. The pilot Capt Riccardo Campana, inside the cockpit, was badly injured (burned) and sadly died two days later in a hospital. Its exact serial is unknown since it had just arrived within the squadron a few weeks before. Aircraft fl/hrs 2042,00 at the time of the accident. An eye witness stated that this aircraft had arrived with the squadron only a few days before and still had the old code "51-47" when he went into flames. It was a terrifying accident. Eye witness also confirmed that it happened on October 30th and not November 30th as sometimes is reported. Beneath a picture of MM6793 still with code 51-47 taken by Ugo Gabbana.
2 November 1984 TF-104G 5808/4-808 SahinKt THK written off pilots ok
This former Netherlands Air Force TF-104G crashed near Kizilcahamama. Cause unknown but the pilots were okay. Beneath a photo from a Turkish aviation safety magazine showing the crash site and also a picture (thanks to Johan van der Wei) at Volkel Air Base ready for delivery to Turkey in March 1984, eight months before it was lost in Turkey.
21 November 1984 F-104G 6656/9-656 192filo THK written off pilot ok
This former Netherlands Air Force Starfighter encountered an accident during take off or landing at the runway of its home base Balikesir. The pilot was safel. The aircraft was seen at Balikesir soon after, still on its wheels as decoy coded 9-056 without pitot tube, like the photo beneath taken in 1998.
10 December 1984 TF-104G 4186 11AG RoCAF incident pilots ok
(USAF serial 63-8458) It made an emergency landing (at Hsinchu probably) due to mechanical problems. Both pilots Han-Ning Wang and Chih-Gang Lan were ok. The aircraft flew again soon after repair.
11 December 1984 F-104G 20+36 JBG34 GAF written off pilot killed
It crashed near Niederpöring, near Platting, after loosing orientation in clouds during simulated special weapon delivery (Spatial Disorientation (CFIT)) and subsequently hitting the ground during this low level flying. Pilot Maj Hans Dieter Kerstan was sadly killed. Beneath a photo of this Starfighter, taken less then 2 months before the aircraft had the tragic accident, by Gunther Grondstein at Beja, Portugal October 24th.


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