Crestview family celebrates 40th anniversary of father's jet crash survival

Richard crash

Now a Crestview resident, then Air Force Capt. Louis Richard, inset, survived this crash landing of his Air Force training jet.

RICHARD FAMILY/Special to the News Bulletin
Published: Thursday, October 17, 2013 at 11:11 AM.

CRESTVIEW — Louis Richard has a lot to celebrate, including a loving wife, four adoring children and a miracle that let him enjoy them 40 years after surviving a jet crash.

On Oct. 12, Richard was surrounded by his wife, Mary, their grown children and nine friends to observe what the family calls "Crash Day.” It’s the anniversary of the Oct. 11, 1973, crash of his U.S. Air Force T37 jet trainer.

This year's observance marked the mishap's 40th anniversary.

A 16G crash

"My claim to fame: I am one of the few pilots who have more take-offs than landings," Richard jokes.

Richard and his copilot, Lt. Larry Dodson, were members of the 88th Flying Training Squadron of the 80th Flying Training Wing at Sheppard (Texas) Air Force Base.

They were on a routine training flight when the plane went down in a field near the base. The plane crashed with a force of 16Gs, or 16 times the force of gravity.

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