Accident description
Last updated: 15 September 2014
Status:
Date:Thursday 12 April 1973
Time:14:50
Type:Lockheed P-3C-125-LO Orion
Operator:United States Navy
Registration: 157332
C/n / msn: 185-5547
First flight: 1970
Engines: 4 Allison T56-A14
Crew:Fatalities: 5 / Occupants: 6
Passengers:Fatalities: 0 / Occupants: 0
Total:Fatalities: 5 / Occupants: 6
Collision casualties:Fatalities: 11
Airplane damage: Damaged beyond repair
Location:1 km (0.6 mls) S of Moffett Field NAS, CA (NUQ) (   United States of America) show on map
Phase: Approach (APR)
Nature:Military
Departure airport:Mountain View-Moffett Field, CA (NUQ/KNUQ), United States of America
Destination airport:Mountain View-Moffett Field, CA (NUQ/KNUQ), United States of America
Narrative:
Lockheed P-3C 157332 departed Moffett Field for a training flight in the area. At the time of the accident, the crew had been flying approaches to touch-and-goes on runway 32L for about an hour and a half, circling in a left-hand pattern west of the air station. At the same time a Convair CV-990 operated by NASA (N711NA) was testing survey equipment over Monterey Bay. At 14:46 the CV-990 pilot contacted Moffett Field, stating that he was ten miles south of the air station and requesting a straight-in approach. They were then cleared for an approach to runway 32R and to contact the tower when he was seven miles out. Two minutes later the P-3C pilot reported that he was turning base with wheels down. At 14:49 the controller cleared the CV-990 to land at runway 32L.The pilot did not question the change of runways. The CV-990 descended above the P-3 on a converging path. The CV-990's nose gear collided with the tail and the upper fuselage of the Orion, which pitched up during the collision. Both aircraft lost control and crashed on the Sunnyvale Municipal Golf Course, half a mile short of the runway.

Classification:
Mid air collision
Loss of control

Sources:
» P-3 Orion Aircraft Location Report (P-3 Orion Research Group - The Netherlands)
» US Crashes 1950-2002 / Jan van Waarde
» US Navy and US Marine Corps Aircraft Serial Numbers and Bureau Numbers--1911 to Present / Joe Baugher
» VPNavy.org


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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 Mountain View-Moffett Field, CA to Mountain View-Moffett Field, CA as the crow flies is NAN km (NAN 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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