“The El Centro Story” is a circa 1960 US Navy film that tells the story of Naval Air Facility El Centro in Imperial County, California, near the Salton Sea, as a pilot recounts his first approach to the airfield at mark 01:45. After landing at mark 03:30, the pilot sees members of the parachute experimental unit — a unit he’d be joining. He takes to the sky with other jumpers and at mark 07:23 they begin their leaps from the aircraft to begin plummeting to the ground. Each man then gently floats to the desert below until it’s finally the narrator’s turn at mark 09:07. Safely on the soft sand less than a minute later the pilot continues his explanation of how El Centro is pivotal in the development and testing of parachute gear — much of it secretive — as men are shown carefully examine some material. Methods of how material is tested is shown at mark 11:25 and a radio-controlled Radioplane target drone plane, which are built and tested at El Centro, is demonstrated beginning at mark 11:35, before moving on to gunnery practice at mark 13:00 with a flood of related scenes. Pilots practice parachuting into nearby bodies of salt water at mark 14:55, before we’re reminded that even training exercises can be dangerous. At mark 18:00 a jumper’s chute fails to properly deploy, but through a re-enactment combined with flight footage we see how he’s able to release his faulty shoot and open a reserve parachute to save his life.
Some of the aircraft shown include the A-1D Skyraider, the Grumman F2H Banshee and the Grumman F-11 Tiger.
We encourage viewers to add comments and, especially, to provide additional information about our videos by adding a comment! See something interesting? Tell people what it is and what they can see by writing something for example: “01:00:12:00 — President Roosevelt is seen meeting with Winston Churchill at the Quebec Conference.”
This film is part of the Periscope Film LLC archive, one of the largest historic military, transportation, and aviation stock footage collections in the USA. Entirely film backed, this material is available for licensing in 24p HD, 2k and 4k. For more information visit http://www.PeriscopeFilm.com