Some hard answers
I lost my first military husband a very many years ago. I had questions after reading the Casulty Report which indicated all was mechanical and no one was at fault. I learned some new truths.
Warning: Possibly Triggering for Some
My husband was required to fly with his squadron’s CO. I learned new information from eyewitness that the CO had an argument with the Quality Control Chief about the aircraft he had gotten ready to take off when it had been “downed”. All of a sudden the CO and 2 crew members ran to the jet, fired it up and it was airborne “faster then a cat could lick it (behind)”, without using more than a third of the runway. The eye witness said he’d never seen that type of aircraft take to the air that quickly before. Another said the CO earlier was known to aircraft that others wouldn’t fly and would put aircraft and crew at unnecessary risk. He switched to a new crew because of it. All this was not in the report. There was problems while flying over the oceans 20 min into the flight which he reported, yet he refused to turn back, even though buried in the Casulty report the same part, dealing with the aircraft’s hydraulics and electrics downed for carrier use, at that point in flight were one of the two were in jeopardy. He continued on to destination flying over the wide expansive ocean. By the time they were 20 min from destination the radar saw them in what indicated a power dive they plummeting so fast into the deepest water in the world that the aircraft and nor debris from it or those abroad were found. The report said something catastrophic must have happened prior.
This was an aircraft that had the ability to glide 15 minutes without any power. They were 20 minutes out from being home. The weather and ocean conditions and equipment made it survivable. The search was 24/7 then called off.
I’m thankful someone tried to stop the CO. I’m upset that his choices hadn’t been curbed before. It cost 9 lives including his own, my husband, and our families having to go the rest of our lives without them. It is a terrible lose and consequences. I’ve had days after learning more about this were I felt inner panic at about 10 pm. I started rocking myself and a few days later tried tapping mostly over my heart. I don’t know what I was doing but it helped. I had one of my old nightmares return of being rejected though I know that is not true. I’ve prayed and the nightmare hasn’t come back so far. I had them on and off for ten years after my husband died, until I got counseling. I should have done that sooner. It was when they came closer and closer together that I sought help. I’m thankful for a place to type this out. Maybe it to will help me process. I don’t seem to have the words for my feelings that that panic convaded in my body.
Those others in the Squadron during that time many still reeling from those events as well. It made International news then and the only Squardon Commander to lose his life. Never do schedule before safety. Safety first, then schedule.