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Accident description
Last updated: 30 May 2016
Date:Monday 14 December 1959
Type:Boeing KC-97G Stratofreighter
Operator:United States Air Force - USAF
Registration: 53-0231
C/n / msn: 17013
First flight:
Crew:Fatalities: 0 / Occupants: 7
Passengers:Fatalities: 0 / Occupants: 0
Total:Fatalities: 0 / Occupants: 7
Airplane damage: Damaged beyond repair
Location:near Dow AFB, ME (   United States of America)
Phase: En route (ENR)
Departure airport:Springfield-Westover AFB, MA (CEF/KCEF), United States of America
Destination airport:Springfield-Westover AFB, MA (CEF/KCEF), United States of America
The aircraft, assigned to the 384th AREFS, departed from Westover AFB on a refueling mission. The KC-97 collided with a B-52 during refueling at an altitude of about 15,000 feet. The aircraft lost the whole left horizontal stabilizer and elevator, the rudder was missing and the upper fourth of the vertical stabilizer. They made a no-flap, electrical power off landing at night at Dow AFB. Two crew members on the B-52 parachuted to safety. The plane remaining crew members continued to Springfield-Westover AFB, MA (CEF) where a safe landing was made.

Mid air collision
Forced landing on runway

» Duane H. Delk, MSgt USAF Ret (E-mail 2-4-2007)
» US Crashes 1950-2002 / Jan van Waarde


photo of Boeing KC-97G Stratotanker 53-0231
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This map shows the airport of departure and the intended destination of the flight. The line between the airports does not display the exact flight path.
Distance from Springfield-Westover AFB, MA to Springfield-Westover AFB, MA as the crow flies is 0 km (0 miles).

This information is not presented as the Flight Safety Foundation or the Aviation Safety Networkĺs opinion as to the cause of the accident. It is preliminary and is based on the facts as they are known at this time.
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Boeing C-97

  • 18th loss
  • 888 built
  • 14th worst accident (at the time)
  • 23rd worst accident (currently)
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 United States of America
  • 617th worst accident (at the time)
  • 1501st worst accident (currently)
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