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Accident description
Last updated: 19 October 2017
Status:
Date:Saturday 9 February 1974
Type:Silhouette image of generic SBR1 model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different
North American T-39A Sabreliner
Operator:United States Air Force - USAF
Registration: 60-3506
C/n / msn: 265-34
First flight:
Engines: 2 Pratt & Whitney JT12A-6A Turbo Wasp
Crew:Fatalities: 5 / Occupants: 5
Passengers:Fatalities: 2 / Occupants: 2
Total:Fatalities: 7 / Occupants: 7
Airplane damage: Damaged beyond repair
Location:near Colorado-Springs, CO (   United States of America)
Phase: En route (ENR)
Nature:Military
Departure airport:Colorado Springs-Peterson Field, CO (COS/KCOS), United States of America
Destination airport:Sacramento-McClellan AFB, CA (MCC/KMCC), United States of America
Narrative:
The USAF Sabreliner jet departed Peterson Field (COS), bound for McClellan AFB (MCC). At the same time a Boeing NKC-135A (55-3120) (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.

Classification:
Mid air collision
Loss of control

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)


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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 Colorado Springs-Peterson Field, CO to Sacramento-McClellan AFB, CA as the crow flies is 1437 km (898 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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