It's almost funny, if it wasn't so sad. McCain loses three planes through mishaps, flies about 20 hours of combat missions, and then gets taken prisoner. I suppose given the sorry crop of Republican leaders these days that makes him a hero. Mishaps mark John McCain's record as naval aviator - Los Angeles Times John McCain was training in his AD-6 Skyraider on an overcast Texas morning in 1960 when he slammed into Corpus Christi Bay and sheared the skin off his plane's wings. McCain recounted the accident decades later in his autobiography. "The engine quit while I was practicing landings," he wrote. But an investigation board at the Naval Aviation Safety Center found no evidence of engine failure. The 23-year-old junior lieutenant wasn't paying attention and erred in using "a power setting too low to maintain level flight in a turn," investigators concluded.