VA-56 Hausmann 1967

Aircraft: A-4C Skyhawk
Custodian: VA-56
Modex: NG-
Location: USS Enterprise
Date: 1967
Description: LTJG Gerald Hausmann inspects the damage to the wing of his Champions Skyhawk after he took a 37mm round in the starboard wing panel which left the pilot sized hole and knocked out the starboard aileron and flap.

At the time of this incident fuel coming in via the in-flight refueling Probe went into the wing integral tank and was then transferred to the main fuselage tank by an engine bleed air transfer pump. An electrical boost pump fed the engine from the fuselage only. Since he had a pilot-sized hole in the wing, when he plugged into the tanker, the fuel coming in thru the probe went right on out into the slipstream. So the A-3 tanker was functioning mainly as a tow truck. The A-3 brought him by the ship and he didnt unplug till more than half through the 180 turn.They told him he needed to catch the wire on the first pass or else. Soon after this incident, Douglas provided a conversion kit which allowed the pilot to select routing of fuel coming in thru the probe...he could then choose to route it directly into the fuselage tank rather than have it go into the wing integral tank and, in this case, be lost overboard. The conversion was really very simple...remove a plate from the tee fitting and attach a pipe. The picture was taken on the starboard side of the ship in Hangar Bay One on CVA(N)-65 by the photographer standing on the port wing, aiming over the fuselage. The pilot was standing on a Coca-Cola crate. How do I know this? I was Walter Kronkite that day, I was "...there".
Photo credit: Naval Aviation News photo