Accident description
Last updated: 31 October 2014
Status:
Date:Monday 17 January 1966
Time:10:30
Type:Boeing KC-135A-BN Stratotanker
Operator:United States Air Force - USAF
Registration: 61-0273
C/n / msn: 18180/495
First flight: 1961-11-01 (4 years 3 months)
Total airframe hrs:1947
Engines: 4 Pratt & Whitney J57-P
Crew:Fatalities: 4 / Occupants: 4
Passengers:Fatalities: 0 / Occupants: 0
Total:Fatalities: 4 / Occupants: 4
Collision casualties:Fatalities: 3
Airplane damage: Destroyed
Airplane fate: Written off (damaged beyond repair)
Location:Palomares (   Spain) show on map
Phase: En route (ENR)
Nature:Military
Departure airport:Morón Air Base (OZP/LEMO), Spain
Destination airport:Morón Air Base (OZP/LEMO), Spain
Narrative:
A USAF Boeing B-52G Stratofortress (58-0256) began its mission from Goldsboro-Seymour Johnson AFB, NC (GSB), carrying four Type B28RI hydrogen bombs on a Cold War airborne alert mission named Operation Chrome Dome. The flight plan took the aircraft east across the Atlantic Ocean and Mediterranean Sea towards the European borders of the Soviet Union before returning home. The lengthy flight required two mid-air refuellings over Spain.
At about 10:30 am on 17 January 1966, while flying at 31,000 feet, the bomber commenced its second aerial refuelling with a USAF Boeing KC-135A-BN Stratotanker (61-0273) out of Morón Air Base in southern Spain.
The planes collided, with the nozzle of the refueling boom striking the top of the B-52 fuselage, breaking a longeron and snapping off the left wing, which resulted in an explosion. All four men on the KC-135 and three of the seven men on the bomber were killed.


Classification:
Mid air collision
Loss of control

Sources:
» 1966 Palomares B-52 crash (Wikipedia)


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Map
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 Morón Air Base to Morón Air Base as the crow flies is 0 km (0 miles).

This information is not presented as the Flight Safety Foundation or the Aviation Safety Network’s 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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