On Oct 14, 1958 the scheduled future Blue Angels leader CDR Robert Nicholls “Nick” Glasgow crashed and died flying solo. Glasgow had reported for duty at Pensacola Naval Air Station as the Blue Angels new leader just a few days before his first flight in one of the team’s F-11 Tigers ended in tragedy.
This crash had unique story 50 years later.
At the morning of Oct 14, 2008 Debbie Harris found on the beach of the Fort Morgan, Alabama, a emblem of the “fallen” Blue Angel. He remembered the local story about crashed pilot, which plane crashed into house a half century ago. Exactly 50 years from the crash, but the coincidences don’t stop to here. On Feb 17, 2009 Harris again walk at the beach and found a dog tag with Robert N. Glasgow name on it. This was the second coincidence, while Robert Glasgow was born on that day 17 Feb, 1922.
Harris told to her aunt who lives at Pensacola to visit National Naval Aviation Museum and find something about Robert Glasgow.
And another coincidence, the director of the Museum is the Retired Navy Captain Robert L. Rasmussen, the man who flew a pair with Glasgow the day he crashed.
Rasmussen who flew as Blue Angels slot at that time told the story of the crash: The outgoing Blue Angels commander, Ed Holley, had asked Rasmussen, one of the team’s most experienced air show pilots, to take Glasgow on an orientation flight. They took off in separate jets on a clear, cloudless day and headed for the Blue Angels practice area over the Gulf of Mexico just off the Alabama coast. Rasmussen went up to 25,000 feet over Mobile to test his new installed radio, leaving Glasgow in the Gulf Shores, Fort Morgan area at a lower altitude. When Rasmussen get back to join up with Glasgow, he tried to raise Glasgow on the radio but couldn’t. He eventually saw smoke from the crash rising from the beach.
The cause of the crash was that Glasgow performed a low altitude loop and didn’t succeed to pull the plane on time, and smashed to the ground destroying a house. There is another theory according to eyewitnesses that pilot had engine troubles, while the engine sounds like damaged. Until now the official cause of the crash is pilot error.
Later in 2009 Debbie Harris visited Glasgow’s widow and sons to bring the items to Robert Glasgow’s family, when they belongs, 50 years after his death. Incredible story about death pilot, which spirit raised again 50 years after he past away.