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Al Worden, Apollo 15

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Al Worden, Apollo 15

Old 30th Mar 2020, 19:55
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Al Worden, Apollo 15

The Times has just published the obituary of this remarkable man whose career was so sadly tainted by a bit of private enterprise on the moon trip that went sour.

Included in the obit is the following;

"A colleague, returning to Houston after a weekend’s hunting at a ranch, escaped censure after running out of fuel, crashing his helicopter and walking from the wreckage dressed as a cowboy, leaving a rifle in the cockpit."

I thought I was pretty well up on matters Apollo but this one is new to me.

Anyone able to elaborate? Sounds distinctly Grissom-ish but that'd only be a wild guess.
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Old 1st Apr 2020, 17:23
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Unhappy

Having met and briefly corresponded with Al , I am saddened to hear of his passing. I heard on 9 March that he had been admitted to hospital in Houston, but thereafter I heard no follow up ...... until today.

I found him to be a very nice guy. RIP Al.
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Old 2nd Apr 2020, 02:42
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remarkable man whose career was so sadly tainted by a bit of private enterprise on the moon trip that went sour
You have to wonder why NASA made such an issue of it. NASA had turned a blind eye to similar activities on earlier flights, NASA administration decided to make an example of Scott and his crew and none of them flew in space again.God speed Al.

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Old 5th Apr 2020, 01:16
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Originally Posted by meleagertoo View Post
The Times has just published the obituary of this remarkable man whose career was so sadly tainted by a bit of private enterprise on the moon trip that went sour.

Included in the obit is the following;

"A colleague, returning to Houston after a weekend’s hunting at a ranch, escaped censure after running out of fuel, crashing his helicopter and walking from the wreckage dressed as a cowboy, leaving a rifle in the cockpit."

I thought I was pretty well up on matters Apollo but this one is new to me.

Anyone able to elaborate? Sounds distinctly Grissom-ish but that'd only be a wild guess.
Sounds like Joe Engle's 1967 Bell 47 crash. Like many military incidents of the pre-CNN/internet era if it didn't make the newspapers or a biography it might be hard to find.

Major General Engle is the last living X-15 pilot and famously was pulled from the Apollo 17 crew to make a slot for scientist-astronaut Harrison Schmidt. As Deke Slayton later wrote, 'he took it better than I would have'.

From a lead in a collectspace.com post, this excerpt from the NASA monograph Unconventional, Contrary and Ugly: The Lunar Landing Research Vehicle:

These were followed by another three accidents, starting with Joe Engle, astronaut pilot representative on the C.C. Williams (T-38 NASA 922) accident board, who had a training helicopter accident (late in 1967)–out of gas at night!–with no injury, but which totaled the OH-13H Army chopper (NASA 931). The Center assigned Neil Armstrong to head up the Engle helicopter accident board...
https://www.hq.nasa.gov/alsj/LLRV_Monograph.pdf

Gene Cernan's 1971 crash on the Indian River came while he was flathatting for some women on a boat and lost sight of the smooth surface of the water. He had a skid drag and the helo toppled into the river and caught fire. He was offered some wiggle room in the rug dance before Deke Slayton ('and when did the engine quit?') but Gene took ownership of the incident and was left on the Apollo 14 launch backup crew a week later.


Last edited by Airbubba; 6th Apr 2020 at 17:28.
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