James Doohan meets pilot Bruce Peterson
We return to the "Star Trek" theme for a moment with this 1967 photo of actor James Doohan meeting NASA's Bruce Peterson, a test pilot and engineer, in front of the M2-F2. In May 1967, Peterson was injured in a crash during his fourth glide flight of the M2-F2 and its 16th overall, which was planned to be the last before the start of powered flights. NASA describes the incident at length:
"[A]s pilot Bruce Peterson neared the lake bed, the M2-F2 suffered a pilot-induced oscillation (PIO). The vehicle rolled from side to side in flight as he tried to bring it under control. Peterson recovered, but then observed a rescue helicopter that seemed to pose a collision threat. Distracted, Peterson drifted in a cross-wind to an unmarked area of the lake bed where it was very difficult to judge the height over the lake bed because of a lack of the guidance the markers provided on the lake bed runway.
"Peterson fired the landing rockets to provide additional lift, but he hit the lake bed before the landing gear was fully down and locked. The M2-F2 rolled over six times, coming to rest upside down. Pulled from the vehicle by Jay King and Joseph Huxman, Peterson was rushed to the base hospital, transferred to March Air Force Base and then the UCLA Hospital. He recovered but lost vision in his right eye due to a staph infection."
April 11, 2010 6:00 AM PDT
Photo by: NASA
| Caption by: Jonathan Skillings
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