Navy Petty Officer J.D. Bridges was just a few months away from completing his tour of duty after serving in the US Navy for more than two years. While preparing a jet for takeoff from the USS Theodore Roosevelt, a disaster struck that would change Navy operating procedures forever.
J.D. was training another crewman when he made a terrible mistake. The seasoned Petty Officer was checking to make sure the A-6 was properly connected to the deck catapult when he got too close to the engine intake. In an instant, J.D. was sucked inside like a rag doll. Unbelievably, he survived.
According to the History Channel’s documentary, “at full throttle, the intake engines of the 54 foot, 60,000 lb. A-6 Intruder generate 9,300 lbs. of thrust. That’s twice as strong as the most powerful tornado. The enormous engines of the A-6 are positioned about 8 feet behind the air intake scoop, which is large enough for a full grown man to fit inside.
17 years later J.D. sat down to watch the tape again.