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ASN Wikibase Occurrence # 138200
Last updated: 18 October 2017
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Type:Douglas RB-66B-DL Destroyer
Owner/operator:19th TRS, USAF
Registration: 54-0421
C/n / msn: 44721
Fatalities:Fatalities: 3 / Occupants: 3
Other fatalities:0
Airplane damage: Written off (damaged beyond repair)
Location:Welsh Myers Farm, Skeffington, Leicestershire -   United Kingdom
Phase: Approach
Departure airport:
Destination airport:Bruntingthorpe, Leicestershire
Crashed on approach to Bruntingthorpe, England. All 3 crewmembers killed. Per eyewitness report:

"This is my personal recollection of the event:

I was on standby, in the on-base barracks, the night of the RB-66 crash. There had been a major power failure for the NavAids on the West side of the base. The Control Tower, GCA, TACAN, and the TVOR facilities were off the air due to the electricity power failure. In the short time it took for me to drive from the barracks to the TACAN site, I was able to get the TACAN back-up power generator started. This brought the TACAN and TVOR back into operation. During the same time Radio Maintenance personnel had started the back-up generators for the Control Tower and the Tower was in full service. The RADAR Maintenance and base power personnel were having an extremely difficult time getting either of the two GCA power generators started. It remained a mystery why both of the GCA power generators failed to start-up. Shortly after the accident the primary power was restored.

Prior to this accident, the base power personnel routinely performed regular testing of both generators on a weekly basis. Until this night there had been no problem with transferring the GCA from the primary source of electricity to either backup generator.

I can still remember the nasty weather that night; it was cold, raining and foggy with very low visibility.

Since the TVOR and TACAN had returned to full operation, the RB66 pilot was then able to initiate a TACAN approach to RAF Bruntingthorpe. Throughout this event, power personnel were working furiously in an unsuccessful attempt to get one of the two generators operational. Had the GCA been on-the-air the crash would have never taken place as the GCA operator would have given the pilot the latest altimeter setting.

After the crash investigation was completed, the scuttlebutt (the unofficial servicemanís news channel) reported the plane's altimeter had been set to the wrong setting. As a consequence the plane was flying much lower than the altimeter instrument indicated.

I believe the following factors contributed to the accident:

1 Marginal weather conditions
2 An electricity power failure
3 The back-up generators for the GCA failed to start
4 The plane's altimeter was incorrectly set"

All three crew were killed:

COAD, Gary Roland, 1st Lt, AO3057421, pilot, age 24, unmarried, from California
BOONE, Charles Lee, 1st Lt, AO37074385, navigator, age 27
NOELL, Ralph Leon, A2c, AF 19560818, gunner, age 21, from Oklahoma

Back in the 1970s, there were some quite hefty chunks of airframe scattered across the farmland. The crash site is almost in line with Bruntingthorpe's south-westerly runway, about six miles out.



Revision history:

26-Aug-2011 05:24 ThW Added
26-Sep-2011 23:53 Uli Elch Updated [Registration, Cn, Operator, Narrative]
03-Sep-2013 16:48 Dr.John Smith Updated [Time, Operator, Other fatalities, Location, Destination airport, Source, Narrative]

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