Accident Boeing NKC-135A 55-3120, Saturday 9 February 1974
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Date:Saturday 9 February 1974
Time:
Type:Silhouette image of generic K35A model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different    
Boeing NKC-135A
Owner/operator:United States Air Force - USAF
Registration: 55-3120
MSN: 17236
Year of manufacture:1957
Fatalities:Fatalities: 0 / Occupants: 18
Other fatalities:7
Aircraft damage: Minor, repaired
Category:Accident
Location:near Colorado-Springs, CO -   United States of America
Phase: En route
Nature:Military
Departure airport:Seattle (unknown airport), WA
Destination airport:Albuquerque-Kirtland AFB, NM (ABQ/KABQ)
Narrative:
The USAF North American T-39A Sabreliner jet (60-3506) departed Peterson Field (COS), bound for McClellan AFB (MCC). At the same time a Boeing NKC-135A (Airborne Laser Lab) was en route from Seattle to Albuquerque-Kirtland AFB, NM with 18 crew on board. It reportedly carried scientific equipment to make observations of the Comet Kohoutek.
En route at 23,000 feet both aircraft collided. The Sabreliner struck the tail of the NKC-135 and subsequently crashed out of control. The NKC-135 suffered only minor damage and landed safely at Albuquerque-Kirtland AFB, NM.

Reportedly the Sabreliner experienced some kind of landing gear failure shortly after takeoff. The crew of the NKC-135 offered to do a visual inspection of the underside of the T-39 in flight. The collision occurred during this manoeuvre.

Sources:

7 Killed as 2 Air Force jets collide (Pasadena Star-News 11-2-1974)
Aircraft collision probe is under way (Times Recorder, 11-2-1974)

Images:


photo (c) Salvador Aguirre; Albuquerque-Kirtland AFB, NM (/KIKR); 09 February 1974


photo (c) Salvador Aguirre; Albuquerque-Kirtland AFB, NM (/KIKR); 09 February 1974


photo (c) Salvador Aguirre; Albuquerque-Kirtland AFB, NM (/KIKR); 09 February 1974

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