Teams were to pull the museum’s F-18 Hornet as quickly as they could over 50 feet on the flight deck. During the first team’s attempt, the Hornet collided with an E-1B Tracer, damaging the Tracer’s back rudder. No damage was done to the Hornet.
Hauff said teams practiced the event about a dozen times prior to Saturday, to ensure there was enough space to pull the plane safely, and the tires of the Hornet had been deflated. On the day of the event, however, the Hornet rolled farther than anticipated. No injuries were reported in the incident.
After the collision, the event was delayed for about an hour while crews attached a tug, a vehicle used to move planes around, that could stop the Hornet in an emergency.
Hauff said both planes are still open for viewing, and the broken piece has already been taken off of the Tracer. Patriots Point is working on restoring many of the museum’s aircraft, and Hauff said both the Hornet and the Tracer were most likely already scheduled for maintenance soon.
“It was the first time we ever did that so there were sure to be some things that we learned,” Hauff said. “So we’ve learned that hopefully next year, if we host the competition again, we’ll just … improve on it, and we’re just happy nobody was hurt.”
The event raised about $60,000 for Ronald McDonald House Charities.s