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List of accidents and incidents involving military aircraft (1975–1999)

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Contents

This is a list of notable accidents and incidents involving military aircraft grouped by the year in which the accident or incident occurred. Not all of the aircraft were in operation at the time. For more exhaustive lists, see the Aircraft Crash Record Office or the Air Safety Network or the Dutch Scramble Website Brush and Dustpan Database. Combat losses are not included except for a very few cases denoted by singular circumstances.

Aircraft terminology

Information on aircraft gives the type, and if available, the serial number of the operator in italics, the constructors number, also known as the manufacturer's serial number (c/n), exterior codes in apostrophes, nicknames (if any) in quotation marks, flight callsign in italics, and operating units.

1975

1976

1977

  • 20 January - A USCG Sikorsky HH-52A Seaguard, 1448, strikes three electrical transmission wires and crashes into the ice-filled Illinois River. The crew had been performing an aerial ice patrol along the Illinois and Mississippi Rivers. The names of the personnel killed in the incident were: LTJG Frederick William Caesar III USN, LTJG John Francis Taylor (CG Aviator #1620), AT2 John B. Johnson, Mr. Jim Simpson (Civilian). The Air Station the aircraft and/or crew were assigned to was AIRSTA Chicago.
  • 3 March - Aeronautica Militare Italiana, Italian Air Force C-130H Hercules MM61996, c/n 4492, '46-10', of the 46 Aerobrigata, crashed into Monte Serra, 15 kilometers E of Pisa, Italy.
  • 21 June - USN EC-130Q Hercules TACAMO III BuNo 156176, c/n 4280, of VQ-3, crashed in the Pacific Ocean after night take-off from Wake Island.
  • 4 October - First production prototype FMA IA 58 Pucará, AX-03, of the Fuerza Aérea Argentina, crashes during preparations for the 50th Anniversary of the Fabrica Militar de Aviones at Córdoba, due to pilot error.[13]

1978

  • 27 March - A USN F-14A-70-GR Tomcat, BuNo 158995, 'NK 106', of VF-1, crashes and catapults across scrub grass to come to rest against a concrete highway divider on CA-163 on approach to NAS Miramar, San Diego, California, exploding in flames. Both crew members eject seconds before impact; one fatality, no civilian deaths.
  • 4 May - First prototype Have Blue stealth test bed, c/n 1001, on its 37th flight, hit the runway a little too hard at Groom Lake, Nevada and had to lift off for another pass rather than go into a skid, but had bent the right main gear strut. The landing gear had been retracted after the "touch and go", and now the right main gear leg wouldn't extend. Despite many attempts, there was no way to get the gear down. Critically low on fuel, Lockheed test pilot Bill Park decided to eject and let the aircraft crash into the desert. Park suffered a serious back injury and concussion, ending his career as a test pilot. The airframe was bulldozed under the desert. News of the crash leaked to the press, and some vague comments were made about the possible existence of "stealth" aircraft.
  • 19 May - First prototype Sikorsky YUH-60A Black Hawk, 73-21650, crashes during testing at the Sikorsky plant, Stratford, Connecticut, killing three company personnel. Army investigation reveals that during routine maintenance the night before the fatal flight, the airspeed sensor for the tailplane actuating system was inadvertently left unconnected. As the aircraft transitioned from hover to forward flight, the tailplane did not automatically change its angle and as speed built up, it forced the helicopter's nose down until an attitude was reached from which recovery was impossible. A manual back-up system was available and functioning, and could have been used to correct the tailplane angle, but for unexplained reasons it was not used, possibly due to failure to analyze the nature of the problem in time. Minor modifications are introduced as a result of this accident.[14]
  • 8 June - During ammunition certification tests by the Joint Test Force, Air Force Flight Test Center, Edwards AFB, California, Major (later Major General) Francis C. "Rusty" Gideon Jr. in A-10A Thunderbolt II, 73-1669, c/n A10-0006, call sign "Paco 40", makes fourth firing pass of five, 100 rounds per pass, but experiences secondary gun gas ignition in front of the GAU-8 muzzle, causing oxygen starvation of engines necessitating emergency shut-down. Before he can relight the cooling engines, he runs out of altitude and ejects in Escapac ejection seat at 2,000 feet AGL, suffering severe injuries including a broken neck. Aircraft impacts on desert floor, whole sequence filmed from T-38 Talon chase plane. Pilot is treated at a Palmdale, California hospital, and returns to the A-10 cockpit six months later.[15] Joe Baugher cites crash date of 8 August 1977.[8] http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mD3Y_Qcqulw&NR=1&feature=fvwp
  • 12 August – Avro Vulcan B2 XL390 of 617 Squadron Royal Air Force crashed during an air display at Naval Air Station Glenview, Illinois, United States, after apparent stall during a wing-over, coming down in landfill just N of Willow Road. All four crew members killed.[16]
  • 19 October - A USAF B-52D-75-BO Stratofortress, 56-0594, of the 22nd Bomb Wing, crashes at 0730 hrs. in light fog in a plowed field ~2.5 miles SE of March AFB, near the rural community of Sunnymead, California, shortly after take-off. Five crew killed, but one is able to escape the burning wreckage and was reported in stable condition at the base hospital. Traffic was disrupted on nearby Interstate 15E.[17]
  • 26 October - A USAF A-7D Corsair II on flight from Tinker AFB, Oklahoma, crashes on approach to Davis-Monthan AFB, Arizona, coming down in street between University of Arizona buildings and Mansfield Junior High School in Tucson, killing driver of auto struck by the fighter, and injuring at least six other civilians. Pilot Capt. Frederick Ashler, 28, ejected safely while passing over the university campus.[18]
  • 7 November - USN A-4F Skyhawk Blue Angel, BuNo 155056, during pre-show exhibition at NAS Miramar, San Diego, California, pilot, Lt. Mike Curtain (sp?-Curtin?), dead on impact, no ejection.
  • 23 November - Royal Navy F-4K Phantom II FG.1, XT598, used for trials installations at HSA Holme and A&AEE, Boscombe Down, then passed to 111 Squadron. Written off on approach to Leuchars this date.[19]
  • Mid-December - Prototype Myasishchev M-17-1 Chayka high-altitude interceptor, painted in Aeroflot colours and bearing civil registration SSSR-17100, becomes accidentally airborne during initial taxi trial at Kumertau, when, in poor visibility, the starboard aileron accidentally lowered and aircraft turned abruptly. Pilot, Kir Chernobrovkin, takes off to avoid snow heap, but wingtip subsequently hits hillside and the prototype was destroyed, pilot KWF.[20]

1979

  • 23 January - Aeronautica Militare Italiana, Italian Air Force C-130H Hercules MM62000, '46-14', c/n 4497, of the 46 Aerobrigata, jumped chocks during engine run-up, hit tree, written-off. Parts used to support c/n 4491, MM61995 damaged in hard landing, Pisa, January 1999. Hull at Milan-Malpensa, Italy, December 1979, 1989.
  • 1 February - Pakistani Air Force C-130B Hercules 23488, c/n 3698, former USAF 62-3488, coded 'P', registered AQ-ACP, then AS-HFP, jumped chocks during night engine test run, collided with C-130E 10687, c/n 4117, former USAF 65-10687, coded 'D'. Both written off, hulls at Lahore, June 1981.
  • 20 April - Two USAF F-111F-CFs of the 48th Tactical Fighter Wing, 70-2367, c/n E2-06 / F-06, and 73-0714, c/n E2-90 / F-90, based at RAF Lakenheath, suffer mid-air off the Scottish coast while on a training mission over the Dornoch Firth's Tain bombing range, all four crew surviving in what was described as a double "miracle" escape. Both crews escape in each plane's two-seat crew ejection modules. Flotation bags on the Peluso/Schlitt module became partially dislodged soon after landing and the module submerged under several feet of water. The other crew module became inverted immediately after hitting the water and remained inverted on the water's surface until the arrival of a fishing vessel. At that time the crew activated self-righting bags that partially righted the module. The crew then exited the module and, assisted by a RAF rescue parajumper, climbed aboard the fishing vessel before being hoisted to a RAF rescue helicopter. The fishing vessel arrived in the area of the crew modules approximately 40 minutes after the collision, with the rescue helicopter from RAF Lossiemouth arriving several minutes later.[21] A Nimrod maritime patrol plane monitored from overhead. All four crew were flown by helicopter to RAF Lossiemouth, 40 miles NE of Inverness. All four returned to Lakenheath later that day. They were identified as Capt. Stephen R. Ruttman, of Norman, Oklahoma, Capt. Timothy A. Schlitt, of Afton, Missouri, Capt. Roger L. Webb, of Staunton, Virginia, and Capt. Joseph Peluso, of Rosedale, New York, all of them 28.[22]
  • 11 July - Second Lockheed Have Blue stealth testbed, c/n 1002, was lost at Groom Lake, Nevada on its 52nd flight when a hydraulic leak set the aircraft on fire. The pilot, Lieutenant Colonel Ken Dyson, ejected safely, but the prototype was destroyed when it impacted 35 miles NW of Groom Lake. Like its predecessor, it was buried under the desert.
  • 23 August - MiG-17F, 002, of the USAF 4477th Test & Evaluation Squadron, Groom Lake, Nevada is lost due to pilot induced loss of control. Pilot Lt. M. Hugh Brown, USN, 31, of VX-4, "Bandit 12", originally of Roanoke, Virginia, enters spin while engaging adversary, U.S. Navy F-5, recovers, but enters second spin too close to ground, irrecoverable, impacts at steep angle near Tonopah airfield boundary, killed instantly. No bail-out attempted.[23]
  • 9 September - Two Hawker Harrier GR.3s, XV757, piloted by former Red Arrows leader Wing Commander Richard Duckett, and XZ128, piloted by Flt. Lt. C. Gowers, both of 1 Squadron, collide in midair over Wisbech, Cambs., UK. Both pilots eject but wreckage comes down on town, one impacting on Ramnoth Road, destroying three houses and killing former Wisbech Mayor W.E.M. Trumpess, R.W. Bowers, and his son Jonathon, aged 2. The other airframe impacts in New Drove on the outskirts of town, fortunately without further casualties.[24]
  • 12 December - USAF F-111E-CF, 68-0045, of the 79th TFS, 20th TFW, based at RAF Upper Heyford, crashed in the sea off Wainfleet Range, UK, during night bombing practice, range staff witnessing it dive into the water before the crew could eject. Pilot Capt. R.P. Gaspard and Maj. F.B. Slusher KWF. Gale force conditions prevented discovery of any wreckage for two days.[24]

1980

  • 24 April - Operation Eagle Claw - A contingent of American military aircraft embarks on a commando raid to rescue a group of American hostages held by Iran. An unexpected sandstorm forces 2 USMC RH-53D Sea Stallion helicopters to divert before reaching the first rendezvous point in the Great Salt Desert of Eastern Iran, near Tabas, and causes serious mechanical damage to a third, prompting commanders to abort the mission. While attempting to evacuate personnel and equipment that had already arrived at the rendezvous point, the pilot of another Sea Stallion, BuNo 158761, loses situational awareness in dustcloud during takeoff and collides with a USAF EC-130E Hercules, 62-1809, c/n 3770, of the 7th ACCS, killing five USAF aircrew aboard the C-130, and three USMC aircrew in the RH-53.[25] Five other RH-53Ds had to be abandoned at the site after suffering shrapnel damage from the collision. These were BuNos. 158686, 158744, 158750, 158753 and 158758. At least one airframe was assembled from the abandoned helicopters, to join six RH-53Ds supplied by the United States to the Iranian Navy in 1978.
  • July - First prototype Rockwell International HiMAT (highly manoeverable advanced technology) remotely-piloted research vehicle RPV is damaged on its fifth flight when the landing skids break away during touchdown on the dry lakebed at Edwards AFB, California. Repairs are made and flight testing resumes 28 October 1980.[26]
  • 29 October - A USAF YMC-130H, 74-1683, c/n 4658, outfitted with experimental JATO rockets for Operation Credible Sport, a planned second attempt to rescue American hostages held by Iran, is destroyed when the rockets misfire during a test landing at Duke Field, Eglin Air Force Base, Florida, USA. All crew members survive, but the rescue operation is deemed excessively risky and is cancelled.
  • 29 December - A U.S. Navy pilot ejects from stricken A-4 Skyhawk on flight from NAS Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, after engine failure and fire, spends 30 hours in the water before rescue shortly after midnight on Wednesday, 31 December, from the Atlantic ~45 miles S of Bahamian island of Mayaguana by a U.S. Coast Guard helicopter. Two Skyhawks departed Gitmo on routine training mission at 1500 hrs. on Monday, second pilot sees pilot Cmdr. Frank Riordan successfully eject from burning fighter with a good canopy ~240 miles NE of Guantanamo. Observer aboard U.S. Navy P-3 Orion out of NAS Jacksonville, Florida, spots strobelight on pilot's life jacket on Tuesday night, 28 December. Riordan recovered in good condition "except for a slight case of exposure", said a Coast Guard spokesman in Miami, Florida.[27]

1981

1982

1983

  • 9 January - One of two USAF F-4C Phantom IIs sent to intercept a private Beechcraft Baron that strays into restricted ADIZ zone off the North Carolina coast, collides in poor visibility with light-twin piloted by Waynesboro, Virginia lawyer Henry H. Tiffany, the jet's wing slicing through the Baron's fuselage and cabin, killing all seven on board. The F-4C returns safely to Seymour-Johnson AFB near Goldsboro, North Carolina. Pentagon report, prepared by the National Guard Bureau of the Army and the Air Force, issued 18 May 1983, notes that Tiffany, 47, en route from vacation in the Bahamas to Norfolk, Virginia, had failed to adhere to his flight plan, and also failed to notify controllers when he entered the restricted air space 20 miles S of MCAS Cherry Point, North Carolina. Phantom pilot, Capt. John A. Wellers, was found to have closed on the Beechcraft at higher than intended speed while doing radar search and was faulted for failure to maintain 500 foot vertical separation as per instructions. The report notes that the Aerospace Defense Command radar operators at Fort Lee, Virginia gave Wellers incorrect altitude data about his target, and that personnel at the FAA's flight control center in Leesburg, Virginia and military controllers at Fort Lee "were slow to react or acted improperly in the process of identifying the unknown aircraft."[55] Flamboyant lawyer Tiffany had been imprisoned for two months in 1978 after a plane he was piloting was forced down with engine trouble in Haiti with more than a ton of marijuana on board. U.S. drug authorities said later that Tiffany was implicated in a major Northern Virginia smuggling ring. In fact, on the fatal flight, Tiffany was by-passing his flight plan's required U.S. customs stop in Florida and was attempting a direct flight to Norfolk, said a National Transportation Safety Board report issued 23 August 1983.[56]
  • 27 January - Five are killed and eight injured when a USAF Boeing B-52G Stratofortress, 57-6507, of the 319th Bomb Wing, catches fire and explodes at 0930 hrs. on the ramp at Grand Forks AFB, North Dakota. The Stratofortress was undergoing routine fuel cell maintenance after flying a training mission the previous night.[57]
  • 28 April - A USAF A-7D of the Virginia Air National Guard, based at Richmond International Airport, crashed near Richmond, Virginia, shearing unoccupied house in half and setting second structure on fire. Pilot Capt. Robert Welch, 30, of Atlanta, Georgia, ejected just before impact, suffering a slight back injury.[58]
  • 1 May - During air-to-air combat training over the Negev Desert, an Israeli Air Force F-15D Baz collides with an A-4 Skyhawk at between 13 and 14 thousand feet altitude, causing the attack jet to explode (the pilot reportedly successfully ejected), and tearing of the starboard wing of the fighter ~2 feet outboard of the engine nacelle. Pilot Zivi Nedivi goes to afterburner to try to stop spinning aircraft, and unaware of the condition of the jet due to fuel leaks obscuring the extent of the damage, makes a blistering 250-260 knot landing at nearest air base, tearing off the arrestor hook and coming to a stop just six feet from the runway threshold. Pilot later comments that had he known the true state of the aircraft, he and his weapons operator would have ejected. F-15 is reportedly repaired and returned to service in ~two months.
  • 22 May - A Canadian Forces CF-104 Starfighter, 104813, of 439 Sqn., explodes in mid-air during airshow performance at Rhein-Main Air Base, Frankfurt, Germany, wreckage falling onto parked cars in woods near the airport, setting several afire and killing three adults and two children watching the display, Reuters news service reported. A Canadian Forces spokesman said that the CF-104, flown by Capt. Alan J. Stephenson, 27, was in a formation of five Starfighters, and that he was to do a solo display. He had done two complete circuits and had leveled off for a low-speed fly-past when the plane malfunctioned. He ejected safely. The spokesman said that a board of inquiry has been convened to investigate the cause of the crash.[59]

1984

  • 26 April - United States Air Force Lt. Gen. Robert M. Bond (1929-1984), Vice Commander of Air Force Systems Command, is killed in a high-speed ejection from a MiG-23 out of Groom Lake, Nevada at 1018 hrs., which was initially reported to be an F-117A Stealth fighter. The MiG impacted on Little Skull Mountain on the remote Nellis AFB range in a high-speed 60-degree dive. Following this accident, officers of General rank were prohibited from test flying.
  • 29 August - Second prototype Rockwell B-1A Lancer, 74-0159, of the Air Force Flight Test Center, Edwards AFB, California, crashes 22 miles NE of the base, in the desert E of Boron, California, when control is lost during an aft centre of gravity test. Rockwell test pilot and the flight commander is killed when escape pod parachutes fail to fully deploy, module impacting in a right nose low attitude. The Co-pilot and flight test engineer are badly injured.
  • 30 August - A United States Navy Noth American T-2C Buckeye crashes into the Chesapeake Bay shortly after takeoff from NAS Patuxent River, Maryland, killing the student and seriously injuring the instructor.[60]
  • 10 October - The first of three Northrop F-20 Tigersharks, N4416T, during a world sales tour, crashes at Suwon Air Base, South Korea, killing Northrop chief test pilot Darrell Cornell. During the last manoeuvre of the final demonstration flight at Suwon, the aircraft stalled at the top of an erratic vertical climb and dove into the ground from 1,800 feet. High-G pilot incapacitation was suspected as the cause, as the investigation found no evidence of airframe failure.[61]
  • 16 October - An unarmed USAF Boeing B-52G Stratofortress, 57‑6479, of the 92nd Bomb Wing out of Fairchild AFB, Washington, crashed about 2100 hrs. into a mesa on the Navajo reservation in northeastern Arizona 13 miles NE of Kayenta, during a low-level training flight. Eight crew eject and recovered in a day; one ejects, missing; gunner KWF.[62]

1985

1986

  • 28 January - The first U.S. multiple in-flight spaceflight fatalities. The Space Shuttle Challenger, OV-099, is destroyed 73 seconds after lift-off on STS-51-L. Analysis of the accident showed that a faulty O-ring seal had allowed hot gases from the shuttle solid rocket booster (SRB) to weaken the external propellant tank, and also the strut that held the booster to the tank. The tank aft region failed, causing it to begin disintegrating. The SRB strut also failed, causing the SRB to rotate inward and expedite tank breakup. Challenger was thrown sideways into the Mach 1.8 windstream causing it to break up in midair with the loss of all seven crew members aboard: Greg Jarvis, Christa McAuliffe, Ronald McNair, Ellison Onizuka, Judith Resnik, Michael J. Smith, and Dick Scobee. NASA investigators determined they may have survived during the spacecraft disintegration, while possibly unconscious from hypoxia; at least some of them tried to protect themselves by activating their emergency oxygen. Any survivors of the breakup were killed, however, when the largely intact cockpit hit the water at 200 mph (320 km/h). See Space Shuttle Challenger disaster.
  • 12 February - A USAF F-16 Fighting Falcon, flown by a pilot of the 3247th Test Squadron, disappears from Eglin Air Force Base's radar tracking screens at 1230 hrs., crashing in the Gulf of Mexico ~30 miles S of Okaloosa Island, Fort Walton Beach, Florida. The body of the pilot, Capt. Lawrence E. Lee, 31, of Kokomo, Indiana, is retrieved from the water by two rescue jumpers from a UH-60 Blackhawk at 1350 hrs., said Eglin public affairs officer Lt. Col. Bill Campbell. A parachute is found floating nearby. The pilot is thought to have drowned after ejecting from the fighter. "There were no radio transmissions ... nothing to indicate there were any problems," said Campbell. "We found no wreckage, so we can't be sure at this time what caused the crash. I don't know if we'll ever know for sure." Hypothermia may have been a factor in the pilot's death. The Gulf's water temperature averaged between 55 and 58 degrees Fahrenheit on Wednesday. Lee was performing what was to have been the aircraft's last test flight before it was returned to the Tactical Air Command. The F-16 had been modified for use in weapons tests by Eglin's Armament Division, then restored to its original condition. Campbell stated that he expects the Air Force will try to recover the wreckage to examine it for clues into the accident, although he acknowledged that such an crash "doesn't always leave much evidence." Lee is survived by his wife, Maj. Terri Lee, assigned to Eglin's 33rd Tactical Fighter Wing.[82] A memorial service is held at 1 p.m. on 14 February in Eglin Base Chapel No. 2.[83]
  • 22 May - US Navy A-6E Intruder, bound for the USS John F. Kennedy at Puerto Rico, crashes on takeoff from NAS Oceana, Virginia Beach, Virginia, at 1105 hrs., killing two crew and one motorist on Oceana Boulevard. Aircraft had no munitions but carried a full fuel load and burst into flame as it came down just outside the station perimeter, killing pilot Lt. James P. Hoban, 26, of River Vale, New Jersey, and bombardier-navigator Lt. Michael F. Wilson, 27, of Medford, New Jersey, as well as Navy wife Tammy Fowler, 25, of Virginia Beach, in the vehicle on Oceana Boulevard. Navy officials said that this was the first Navy plane crash in the area in more than two years. Witnesses reported that the Intruder's tail appeared to be on fire as it came down.[84][85]
  • 17 June - KC-135 Stratotanker, 63-7983, c/n 18600, 305th Air Refuelling Wing, Det. 1, TDY, hits the runway at Howard AB, Panama, becomes airborne again and then crashes into a hill in the jungle.[86]
  • 2 September - Schweizer RG-8A, 85-0048, c/n 4, ex-civil registration N3623C, modified Schweizer SGS 2-32 motor glider for U.S. Army Grisly Hunter reconnaissance project. Crashed at Ft. Huachuca, Arizona, killing two-man crew. [87] [88] [89]

1987

  • 27 February - Royal Air Force Boeing Chinook HC1 ZA721 crashed in the Falkland Islands, all seven on board killed.[90]
  • 21 March - Dean Martin's son Dean Paul Martin (formerly Dino of the 60s "teeny-bopper" rock group Dino, Desi & Billy) dies when his F-4 Phantom II fighter crashes into San Gorgonio Mountain in the San Bernardino Mountains during a snow storm while flying with the California Air National Guard. His WSO (Weapons Systems Officer), Ramon Ortiz is also KWF.
  • 24 June - RAF SEPECAT Jaguar GR.1A, XZ386, '05', of 226 OCU, suffers loss of control/controlled flight into terrain three miles (5 km.) SE of Builth Wells, Powys, Wales. Pilot KWF.[91]
  • 17 September - KC-10A Extender, 82-0190, c/n 48212, written off in ramp fire after explosion while undergoing maintenance at Barksdale AFB, Louisiana, killing crew chief.[92]
  • 22 September - A U.S. Navy F-14A-70-GR Tomcat, BuNo 162707, of VF-74 out of NAS Oceana, Virginia Beach, Virginia, operating from the USS Saratoga, accidentally shoots down a USAF RF-4C-22-MC Phantom II, 69-0381, 'ZR' tailcode, of the 26th Tactical Reconnaissance Wing, out of Zweibrucken Air Base, West Germany, at 1550 hrs. EDT over the Mediterranean Sea during a NATO exercise, DISPLAY DETERMINATION. Both RF-4C crew eject, pilot Capt. Michael Ross of Portsmouth, Ohio, and WSO Lt. Randy Sprouse of Sumter, South Carolina, both of the 38th TRS, and are rescued by a helicopter from the Saratoga within 30 minutes, suffering numerous injuries. A Navy spokesman said that the F-14 downed the RF-4C with an air-to-air missile, but did not know whether it was a Phoenix, a Sparrow or a Sidewinder.[93] This was likely due to insufficient information being relayed to the spokesman; recovery of the F-14 aboard Saratoga makes it obvious the missile was an AIM-9 Sidewinder. When told by the Saratoga's Admiral that they had been shot down, Sprouse remarks "I thought we were supposed to be on the same side?" to which the Admiral replies "We're sorry about this, but most of the time we are." The Tomcat pilot is duly disciplined and permanently removed from flying status.[94]
  • 14 October - An F-117A Nighthawk, 83-815, piloted by Maj. Michael C. Stewart, callsign BURNR ("burner") 54, crashes at 2033 hrs., ~100 miles N of Nellis AFB, just E of Tonopah. Stewart was just 40 minutes into a routine single-ship sortie when his plane crashed into the gently sloping terrain 60 miles E of Alamo, Nevada, pilot KWF.[95]
  • 20 October - USAF Ling-Temco-Vought A-7D-4-CV Corsair II, 69-6207, of the 4450th Tactical Group, Nellis AFB, Nevada, loses all power 15 miles S of Indianapolis, Indiana at 31,000 feet while en route from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania to Tinker AFB, Oklahoma. Pilot tries to dead-stick into Indianapolis International Airport but receives poor direction from air traffic controllers and crashes at ~0915 hrs. during late turn after aiming plane at a baseball field[96] but fighter veers, striking bank branch roof and hitting center of Ramada Inn across the street, killing nine employees, injuring five others (one of whom died later as a result of the injuries sustained). Pilot Maj. Bruce L. Teagarden, 35, ejected, suffering bruises and muscle strain.[97] He lands in parking lot of Ace Supply Company, four blocks from the hotel.[98] Air Force pays out $50,427 in property claims damages, according to the New York Times on 26 October.[99] This A-7D was part of the unit then secretly operating F-117 stealth aircraft but this was successfully kept out of the media for several years.

1988

  • 25 February - A US Army CH-47 Chinook helicopter crashes outside Chico, Texas, killing 10 soldiers and injuring 8. The helicopter caught fire mid-flight and the brave pilots attempted an emergency landing, but the billowing smoke and passenger movements made it impossible. The helicopter hit the ground at 150 mph, breaking apart in a sheet of fire.
  • 24 April - Marine Corps Colonel Jerry Cadick, then commanding officer of MAG-11, was performing stunts at the MCAS El Toro Air Show before a crowd of 300,000 when he crashed his F/A-18 Hornet at the bottom of a loop that was too close to the ground.[20] The aircraft was in a nose-high attitude, but still carrying too much energy toward the ground when it impacted at more than 300 mph (480 km/h). Col. Cadick was subjected to extremely high G forces that resulted in his face making contact with the control stick and sustaining serious injury. He broke his arm, elbow and ribs, exploded a vertebra and collapsed a lung. Col. Cadick survived and retired from the Marine Corps. The F/A-18 remained largely intact but was beyond repair.[100][101]
  • 6 May - CH-53D with Marine Heavy Helicopter Squadron-46 crashed into South China Sea killing all 17 on board.
  • 6 May - Royal Air Force Boeing Chinook HC1 ZA672 hit a pier at Hannover Airport while taxying and was destroyed, 3 crew killed.[102]
  • 12 July - U.S. Navy CT-39E Sabreliner, BuNo 158381, c/n 282-93, ex-N4701N, en route from Singapore to Subic Bay Naval Station, Philippines, comes down in the afternoon in the South China Sea near the Spratly Island archipelago, after radioing a distress signal of equipment failure. Vietnamese Navy ship (described by Joe Baugher as a fishing vessel) picks up three American crew, two men and one woman, said a spokesman at the Vietnamese embassy in Bangkok on 15 July, and took them to Vietnam where they were being "treated very kindly". Arrangements would be made to repatriate the crew. At this time the United States and Vietnam had not yet reestablished diplomatic relations.[103]
  • 17 August – A PAF C-130B Hercules, 23494, 'R' (ex-USAF 62-3494), c/n 3708, crashes near the Pakistani town of Bahawalpur, killing everyone aboard, including the President of Pakistan General Muhammad Zia-ul-Haq, American Ambassador to Pakistan Arnold Lewis Raphel, Head of Pakistan's military intelligence General Akther Abdul Rehman and nearly all of the top military brass of the Pakistan Army.
  • 28 August – Ramstein airshow disaster: Three of the ten Aermacchi MB-339PAN jets from the Italian Air Force display team Frecce Tricolori collide in mid-air in front of the audience while performing their 'pierced heart' formation. One aircraft crashes directly into the crowd. Sixty-seven spectators and all three pilots are killed and 346 seriously injured in the resulting explosion and fire.
  • 12 September - An F-14A-95-GR Tomcat, BuNo 160409, of VF-143[104], (also reported as VF-124) suffers an all hydraulic system failure and crashes inverted into a hangar at Gillespie Field, a civil airport in El Cajon, California, San Diego County. The Pilot managed to point the crippled jet towards the landing strip at Gillespie Field to reduce civilian casualties, and both him and his RIO ejected, suffering injuries. The RIO landed in power lines. The crash killed 5 on the ground.
  • 5 December - A U.S. Navy EA-6B Prowler goes missing over the Pacific Ocean during training exercise 900 miles off San Diego. Search fails to find any sign of the four crew.[105]
  • 6 December - A USAF B-52H-150-BW Stratofortress, 60-0040, crashed on the runway at 0115 hrs. EST at K.I. Sawyer AFB, Michigan, while doing touch-and-goes after a seven-hour training flight. No weapons were aboard the bomber, which broke into three parts. All crew survived, crawling or being helped from the nose section, without sustaining burns.[105]
  • 8 December – Remscheid plane crash: An USAF A-10 Thunderbolt II crashes into the West German town of Remscheid. The pilot and five residents are killed, and a further 50 people injured.

1989

Two F-15s of the 32nd TFS chasing a derelict MiG-23M "Flogger B" over West Germany, 4 July 1989.
  • 4 July - A "runaway" Soviet MiG-23M "Flogger-B" crashes into a farmhouse in Belgium, killing an 18-year-old man.
  • 6 July 1989 - One of two F-15 Eagles of the 33rd TFW, Eglin AFB, Florida, engaged in 2V2 (two versus 2) aerial combat maneuvers with two F-16 Fighting Falcons of the Alabama Air National Guard, crashes at 1456 hrs. near Lamison, Alabama, a small community ~80 miles SW of Montgomery, the pilot, Capt. Leo Moore of the 58th Tactical Fighter Squadron, ejecting safely. Moore, unhurt, is rescued less than an hour later, said Sandy Mau, a Selma Times-Journal reporter, by an Air National Guard helicopter vectored to him from Danley Field by the F-16 pilots who were flying close enough to Moore to pinpoint his location, said S/Sgt. Dave Beaulieu, 33rd TFW spokesman. Tim Henderson, of nearby Millers Ferry, said that he saw Moore's jet flying low across his pasture minutes before the crash. "It was flying maybe a little over the treetops, very low," Henderson said. "He wasn't flying very fast to be flying so low, and it kind of sounded like the engine was cutting out." The fighter impacted on a ridge in a rural, virtually inaccessible area and Air Force investigators were having difficulty reaching the site, said Mau. The Eagle was completely destroyed. "It just burned up," said Beaulieu. The two F-15s had departed from Eglin at ~1410 hrs. to rendezvous with the F-16s. Moore's fighter was carrying an inert infrared-guided Sidewinder, Beaulieu said. He didn't know how much training the airmen got in before the crash, which occurred ~120 miles NE of Eglin. The pilot underwent a medical check at Eglin regional Hospital and then was sent home, said Beaulieu. "He's fine. He's pretty shaken up, but doing well."[113][114]
  • 29 October - U.S. Navy T-2 Buckeye crashes into Vultures' Row on the island of training carrier USS Lexington, AVT-16 during a wave-off approach, operating in the Gulf of Mexico 22 miles S of NAS Pensacola, Florida, killing five and injuring 20. Killed were the student pilot, three seamen, and a civilian employee of the Navy. This was the last aviation accident on the Lady Lex before her retirement to a museum ship at Corpus Christi, Texas.[110]
  • 30 November - An A-4F Skyhawk assigned to the US Navy Top Gun school crashed short of the runaway at NAS Miramar, north of San Diego, California. The cause of the crash was loss of power to the engine. The pilot, an instructor in the Top Gun school, ejected safely.
  • 1 December - A leased CASA 212-300, 88-320, N296CA, c/n 296, operated by the US Army Intelligence and Security Command (INSCOM) for testing duties, crashes at NAS Patuxent River, Maryland.[115] The crew had been conducting tests of tracking equipment during the short flight from Davison AAF at Fort Belvoir, Virginia. Aircraft crashed and sank into the water ~ 50 yards off shore, in 45 feet water, reportedly because the flight crew inadvertently selected "beta range" on the propellers at 800 feet, stalled and crashed into the river. Pilot CW4 Gaylord M. Bishop, copilot CW4 Howard E. Morton, SPC Peter Rivera-Santos, PFC Mark C. Elkins, and CIV Ronald N. Whiteley Jr. KWF.[116]
  • 28 December - F-15C-41-MC Eagle. 86-0153, c/n 1000/C381 , of the 59th TFS, 33rd TFW, based at Eglin AFB, crashes in the Gulf of Mexico, 40 miles SE of Apalachicola, Florida, pilot killed.[117]

1990

  • 12 January - USMC A-4M Skyhawk of VMA-131 crashes on approach to NAS Willow Grove, Pennsylvania, coming down in Upper Moreland Township, impacting in an intersection, debris tearing off roof of an auto-leasing business, destroying four autos, and damaging six houses, but no injuries on the ground. Pilot Capt. Duane Pandorf, 35, parachutes into tree, suffering only minor injuries.[118]
  • 23 January - Mid-air collision between two Blue Angels F/A-18 aircraft during a practice session at El Centro. One airplane, Angel Number 2, BuNo 161524, piloted by Capt. Chase Moseley (ejected) was destroyed and the other, Angel Number 1, badly damaged but managed to land safely. Both pilots survived unharmed.[119]
  • 6 February - A USAF F-111E-CF, 68-0001, c/n A1-170 / E-11, crashes into the North Sea off the east coast of England during a routine training mission, killing two crew. The Third Air Force identified the crew as pilot Capt. Clifford W. Massengill, 30, of Edenton, North Carolina, and WSO 1st Lt. Thomas G. Dorsett, 26, of Pensacola, Florida.[120]
  • 7 February - A USAF A-10 Thunderbolt II crashes in the Black Mountains of Wales, ~eight miles S of Hay-on-Wye on the English border, less than 18 hrs. after an F-111 was lost in the North Sea. The unidentified A-10 pilot was killed. Gen. Marcus Anderson, commander of the Third Air Force, grounds all British-based tactical fighters for a one-day safety review, although an Air Force press spokesman said the two accidents were unrelated, calling it "a terrible coincidence" that they occurred so close together.[120]
  • 12 February - A USMC pilot died and a reconnaissance observer was hurt when they ejected almost simultaneously from separate aircraft during training missions at the Marine Corps Air Ground Combat Center Twentynine Palms, Twentynine Palms, California. Capt. Thomas Kolb, 28, of San Diego, California, was killed after ejecting from his AV-8B Harrier II, BuNo 163187, from VMA-223, based at MCAS Cherry Point, North Carolina, which crashed in a remote area. Aerial observer Capt. Jeffrey P. Schade, of Southold, New York, ejected from OV-10 Bronco, suffering minor injuries. The Bronco landed safely.[121]
  • 23 February - A Marine Corps student pilot and his U.S. Navy instructor from Whiting Field, Florida, are killed after two T-34C Mentors collide in mid-air, near Summerdale, Alabama.[110]
  • 19 March - An F-15 Eagle from the 3rd Wing stationed at Elmendorf AFB, Alaska accidentally fired an AIM-9M Sidewinder missile at another F-15. The damaged aircraft was able to make an emergency landing; it was subsequently repaired and returned to service.[122]
  • 30 May - Two USAF Ling-Temco-Vought A-7 Corsair IIs of the 175th Tactical Fighter Squadron, 114th Tactical Fighter Group, South Dakota Air National Guard, collide in mid-air and crash in a "ball of flame" over northwestern Iowa near Spencer, Iowa, both pilots and a civilian passenger eject safely.[123] The flight consisted on an A-7D single-seater and A-7K, 80-0292, c/n K-021, two-seater.
  • 6 November - Crew of an US Navy A-6E Intruder, '506', of VA-176, suffering engine fire, aim bomber away from Virginia Beach, Virginia oceanfront before ejecting just after takeoff from NAS Oceana, Virginia's Runway 5. Bomber comes down at 1015 hrs. in the Atlantic Ocean ~.75 miles offshore, after just clearing the Station One Hotel, on-shore breeze carries crew inland about three blocks from the beach, one landing in a tree, the other in a courtyard of a condominium, suffering only cuts and bruises. Aircraft, on routine training mission, was unarmed. Officials did not identify the crew, but said the pilot was a 29-year old lieutenant, and the bombardier-navigator was a 34-year old lieutenant commander, both assigned to VA-176.[124][125]
  • 6 December - An Italian Air Force MB-326 jet, of 603 SC, crashes into a high school in Casalecchio di Reno, Italy. Twelve students are killed, 84 more are severely injured. The pilot ejected after losing control of the plane.

1991

  • 24 January - A-7E Corsair II, BuNo 158830, 'AC 403', of VA-72 has the dubious distinction of being the last of the type in US Navy service to need a barricade landing aboard a carrier when the nose gear was damaged on catapult launch from the USS John F. Kennedy, CV-67, at start of mission 12.41 against a target in western Iraq, losing one tire. Pilot, Lt. Tom Dostie, succeeds in hooking 1-wire and aircraft snags safely in barricade. Since the A-7 type was about to be retired, airframe is stripped for parts and buried at sea 25 January with full military honors, but refuses to sink until strafed by air wing jets.[126]
  • 3 March - US Navy CT-39G Sabreliner, BuNo 160057, c/n 306-107, ex-N56798, crashed at 1145 hrs. in a neighborhood ~.5 miles S of NAS Glenview, Illinois, killing three crew, but missing houses. No one on ground was injured and witnesses said the pilot appeared to intentionally avoid structures, the jet coming down 20 feet from homes.[127][128]
  • 20 March - Cuban Air Force pilot Major Orestes Lorenzo Perez defects in his MiG-23BN to Naval Air Station Key West, Florida on a training mission. U.S. fighters never scramble to intercept, and embarrassed military authorities say that "hardware and software problems" with the radar net contributed to the failure.[129] On 19 December 1992 he returns to Cuba in a borrowed small, twin-engined 1961 Cessna 310, landing on a well known bridge along the coastal highway east of Havana in Northern Matanzas Province at an agreed time. His wife Victoria and their two sons, Reyneil, 11, and Alejandro, 6, are already waiting on his order delivered through a messenger earlier. Orestes Lorenzo Perez picks up his family and manages a successful safe return to Miami.
  • 21 March – Two US Navy P-3C Orion anti-submarine patrol planes are lost during a training mission off the San Diego coast. The crash occurs in a storm 60 miles SW of San Diego at 0230 hrs., as one plane flies to relieve the other, which had been airborne for seven hours. Search-and-rescue workers discover wreckage from the downed planes but all 27 crewmen are lost. The two aircraft were assigned to Patrol Squadron 50, based at Naval Air Station Moffett Field in Mountain View.
  • 6 April - Islamic Republic of Iran Air Force F-14A Tomcat crashed at unknown location, killing unidentified pilot, and RIO Lt. Col. Gholamreza Khorshidi.
  • 28 May - An MH-60G Pave Hawk based at Eglin AFB, Florida, crashes off Antigua in the Caribbean, injuring six of eight aboard, but no fatalities. Although initially reported to have been on a training mission, an accident report obtained by the Northwest Florida Daily News, Fort Walton Beach, Florida, in August, revealed that the crew was sightseeing, taking pictures over beachside hotels and harbors, when the accident occurred.[130]
  • 4 June - A student pilot died after ejecting from his T-2C Buckeye, BuNo 158877, 'F 807', of VT-4, CTW-6, based at NAS Pensacola, Florida, which impacted on an embankment on the south side of Berryhill Road extension, N of Pace, Florida about 1300 hrs.[110]
  • 5 June - A Royal Australian Air Force F/A-18A, A21-041, of 75 Squadron, crashes 100 kilometres NE of Weipa, Queensland. The pilot was killed. The wreckage was found in July 1994.
  • 29 October - A Royal Australian Air Force Boeing 707-368C, A20-103, c.n 21103/905, stalled and crashed into the sea near RAAF Base East Sale, VIC, Australia killing all five crew. The crash was attributed to a simulation of asymmetric flight resulting in a sudden and violent departure from controlled flight.[131]
  • 30 November - During routine training mission, pilot Lt. Michael Young, 28, bailed out of his disabled USAF A-7D-9-CV Corsair II, 70-1054, c/n D-200, of the 180th TFG, Ohio Air National Guard, based at Toledo Express Airport, Swanton, Ohio, over the coast of Michigan's Thumb area. He landed in Lake Huron, and was dragged 12 miles in his parachute by winds before being lost and presumed drowned. The jet impacted in a wooded area near Port Hope, Michigan. Rescuers were unable to reach pilot at the speed he was being dragged, and survival was unlikely in the 38-degree water.[132]

1992

  • 6 February - A Kentucky Air National Guard C-130B Hercules, 58-0732, c/n 3527, of the 165th Tactical Airlift Squadron, stalls and crashes into the JoJo's restaurant and Drury Inn while practicing touch and go maneuvers at the Evansville, Indiana Airport. All five crew members and nine people on the ground were killed. Several others were injured.
  • April - A Marine Corps CH-46 suffers a catastrophic explosion and crashes into the Red Sea, killing four Marines including the pilot and injuring eight Marines.
  • 15 April - A U.S. Navy T-2C Buckeye crashes in the Gulf of Mexico shortly after launch from training carrier USS Forrestal, operating ~70 miles S of NAS Pensacola, Florida. Both instructor pilots eject but helicopter only retrieves Lt. Tim Fisher of VT-19, based at NAS Meridian, Mississippi, other pilot lost. This was the first training accident since the Forrestal became a training carrier on 4 February 1992.[133]
  • 25 April - Second prototype Lockheed YF-22A, N22YX, suffers severe damage during start of a go-around when it belly-flops at Edwards AFB, California, following eight seconds of pilot-induced oscillation at an altitude of 40 feet when test pilot Tom Morgenfeld ignored a test-card requiring the 2-D convergent-divergent thrust nozzles to be locked in position during this stage of the PIO tests. Control surface actuators hit rate limiters causing commands to get out of synchronization with their execution, and the test fighter hit the ground, skidded several thousand feet, inducing fire that destroyed 25 percent of the airframe.[134] Crash footage:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DdfIiZnVhTI Aircraft never flew again, being rebuilt as a shell and subsequently used to test antennae at the Rome Air Development Center, Griffiss AFB, New York.[135]
  • 13 July 1992 - F-15C-40-MC Eagle. 85-0116, c/n 0972/C358, of the 60th Fighter Squadron, 33rd Fighter Wing, based at Eglin AFB, Florida, crashes at 0900 hrs. in the Gulf of Mexico, 90 miles S of Eglin.[117] Capt. Darren S. Ruhnau, 27, of Niceville, Florida, assigned to the 60th Fighter Squadron, ejects safely. He and another F-15 had departed Eglin at 0835 hrs. for a training mission. "I'm just glad the ACES II ejection system worked as advertised," Ruhnau said in a statement, "and that the search-and-rescue guys were there to do the job." "He was picked up by an oil freighter," said Capt. Susan Brown, a spokeswoman for the 33rd, but the helicopter crew "couldn't get him off there. So they transferred him to a Coast Guard cutter, but they couldn't get him off there either. He was in such good shape, they dropped him back in the water, and picked him up from there." A U.S. Navy helicopter of HC-16 from the USS Forrestal, which is based in Pensacola, plucked him from the Gulf at ~1000 hrs. and transported him to Eglin Regional Hospital where he was checked out and released at ~1330 hrs. Ruhnau has been flying F-15s since May 1989 and assigned at Eglin since September of that year. In an unrelated incident, another 33rd Fighter Wing F-15 makes a rough landing, overshoots the runway at Eglin and comes to a stop in the grass. The pilot, assigned to the 59th Fighter Squadron, does not eject and is uninjured, the fighter sustains less than $10,000 damage, said Brown.[136]
  • 20 July - An MV-22 Osprey prototype, BuNo 163914, catches fire and falls into the Potomac River at MCAS Quantico, Virginia, USA, killing 5 crew members in front of an audience of high-ranking US government officials; this is the first of a series of fatal accidents involving the controversial tiltrotor aircraft.
  • 22 July - Two soldiers from Fort Carson, Colorado, manage to avoid being killed when their U.S. Army AH-64 Apache crashes into the side of the north peak of 12,300 foot Almagre Mountain, known as "Mount Baldy", S of Pikes Peak. Chief Warrant Officers Douglas Mohr and David Reaves are on a routine training mission when their attack helicopter impacts several hundred feet below the crest in steep, rocky terrain. Mohr, 29, of Park City, Montana, suffers a concussion, broken arm and abrasions, and is listed in stable condition at Evans U.S. Army Community Hospital. Reaves, 32, of Hempstead, Texas, suffers small cuts and is expected to be released from hospital on 23 July. Both are from C Company, 1st Battalion, 4th Aviation Brigade. Just before the crash, "The Air Field heard them call for may day," said Sgt. 1st Class Jack Loudermilk, a post spokesman. Fuel on the Apache ignited shortly after impact, burning a 30-square yard area but didn't spread because the area was mostly rock. How Reaves and Mohr escaped before the fire was unknown.[137]
  • 31 July - A US Navy E-2C Hawkeye on a training flight crashes in the Atlantic Ocean ~75 miles N of Puerto Rico while returning to the USS John F. Kennedy CV-67, killing all five crew. The Navy reported on 1 August that the aircraft radioed that it was in trouble before coming down ~4 miles from the carrier, the second plane loss of that air wing in less than a fortnight.[138]
  • 4 August - An F-117A Nighthawk, 85-801, "The Perpetrator", goes out of control after take off for a night training mission from Holloman AFB, New Mexico. Pilot Capt. John B. Mills of the 416th Fighter Squadron, ejects safely, suffering only minor cuts. Airframe comes down in sparsely populated area near a trailer park. Investigators believed that an improperly-reinstalled bleed air duct led to control failure.[95]
  • 13 October - Antonov An-124 Ruslan, SSSR-82002, believed destined for Aeroflot, on test flight by Antonov/Aviastar, suffers nose cargo door failure during high-speed descent (part of test program) resulting in total loss of control. Airframe comes down in forest near Kiev, killing eight of nine crew.[139]
  • 16 October - One of three U.S. Army AH-64 Apaches of Company B, 1/151st Aviation Battalion, on training mission out of McEntire Air National Guard Base, near Eastover, South Carolina, crashes in wooded area near Dacusville in Pickens County, South Carolina at ~1700 hrs., injuring two crew. Airframe comes to rest on its starboard side on hilltop near Blue Ridge View Baptist Church off Anthony Road, leaving Army National Guard CWOs Poyas Haynes and Gilbert Terry with minor injuries. They were transported to Greenville Memorial Hospital for treatment.[140][141] One witness said that one of the helicopter's engines appeared to stall, while another stated that the Apache rolled upside down and then back onto its side as it went down.[142] The Apache was lifted from crashsite on 22 October by a CH-47 Chinook to an open field for transloading onto a truck for transport back to McEntire ANGB.[143]
  • 19 October - A Panavia Tornado crashes in the evening on the Nellis AFB, Nevada range, 100 miles NE of Las Vegas, during Red Flag combat exercises, killing two crew from the Italian Air Force.[144]

1993

  • 27 April – A Zambian Air Force DHC-5 Buffalo crashed shortly after takeoff from Libreville, Gabon. One engine caught fire and failed; the tired pilot then shut down the wrong engine, causing a complete loss of power during the climb and leading to a crash 500 metres offshore. The plane was carrying the Zambia national football team to a 1994 FIFA World Cup qualifier against Senegal. All 30 on board, including 18 players, the coach, and team support staff, were killed.
  • 24 July - At 1517 hrs. two MiG-29s, 526, c/n 25887, and 925, c/n 15564, of the Russian Flight Research Institute took off for a demonstration at RIAT RAF Fairford 1993, but during display suffer mid-air collision, both pilots, Alexander Beschastonov and Sergey Tresvyatsk[145], ejecting safely. Video of this accident is widely available on the internet.
  • 8 August - A JAS 39 Gripen, 39-102, crashed on the central Stockholm island of Långholmen, near the Västerbron bridge, during a slow speed manoeuver during a display over the Stockholm Water Festival. Lars Radestrom, the same pilot as in the 1989 incident ejected safely. Despite large crowds standing by watching, no one on the ground was seriously injured. This crash was caused by a PIO.
  • 10 August - an AV-8B Harrier II crashed on the runway at Marine Corps Air Station Cherry Point, North Carolina as the pilot was doing "touch and go" landings. The planes flaps jammed when moisture got into the flap controller causing it to short out. The pilot, Captain William P. Delaney ejected before the plane hit the runway however his parachute descended into the fireball killing him.[146][147]

1994

B-52H 61-0026 Czar 52 about to crash. Note that the co-pilot's hatch has been blown in a failed attempt to eject.
  • 24 June - 'Czar 52', a USAF B-52H-170-BW Stratofortress, 61-0026, crashes during an airshow practice at Fairchild AFB. After having rehearsed the maneuvers profile that in itself was dangerous to fly in a B-52, the aircraft came into land. Due to a KC-135 Stratotanker still being on the runway, the aircraft was required to make a 'go around'. After beginning a 360-degree turn left, the aircraft exceeded 90 degrees angle of bank, stalled and crashed into the ground. All four aircrew members were killed in the crash.[150]
  • 23 July - A U.S. Navy T-2C Buckeye, BuNo 157051, '0601', of VT-19, based at NAS Meridian, Mississippi, crashed at 1355 hrs. shortly after takeoff from NAS Oceana, Virginia, impacting in a wooded area several hundred yards past the runway, with both crew ejecting before the crash. Instructor pilot Lt. Mark Sharp, 32, of Portland, Oregon, died at 1814 hrs. in Virginia Beach General Hospital, said a Navy spokesman, but Marine Lt. Carl Hogsett, 26, of Fort Wayne, Indiana, was reported in good condition at Portsmouth Naval Hospital.[151]
  • 24 October - US Navy F-14A-95-GR Tomcat, BuNo 160390, 'NH 103', of VF-213 crashed on approach to the carrier USS Abraham Lincoln CVN-72, operating 40 miles (65 km.) off the Southern California coast, killing Lt. Kara Hultgreen, the first female Tomcat-qualified pilot in the Navy. RIO Lt. Matthew P. Klemish ejected and was rescued. Due to low-speed rolling turn, the ejections were on the edge of the seat capabilities, and Hultgreen's did not have time to fully sequence. Her body was recovered by a Navy salvage team, still strapped into her seat less than 100 yards (90 m.) from her F-14 on the seabed.[152] Footage: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9ezoYOuQVWg&NR=1 This was one of two Tomcats (then of VF-41) that downed a Libyan Su-22 on 19 August 1981.

1995

  • 19 January - Rockwell-MBB X-31, BuNo 164584, first of two testbed airframes, crashes on 67th flight, north of Edwards AFB, California. German Federal Ministry of Defense test pilot Karl-Heinz Lang, assigned to the X-31 International Test Organization (ITO), ejects safely at 18,000 feet. He is taken to hospital for examination, a fire department spokesman said.[153][154] Footage: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cWcBcxvZfMc
  • 22 February - Slingsby T-3A Firefly, 93-0555, N3092K, 'RA', of the 557th FTS, crashes when it fails to recover from a spin, killing instructor Capt. Dan Fischer, 29, and Cadet Mark Dostal, 20, of Moraga, California. Trainer made 17 tight spirals as it dropped one mile in 30 seconds before impacting ~50 miles E of the Air Force Academy in Colorado.[155] This was the first of three Firefly fatal accidents before the type was withdrawn from operation and the surviving airframes scrapped.
  • 10 May - An F-117A Nighthawk, 85-0822, from the 49th Fighter Wing, Holloman AFB, New Mexico, crashes 7 miles S of Zuni, New Mexico, while on a training mission. The pilot, Capt. Kenneth W. Levens, of the 9th Fighter Squadron, was killed in the crash.[156]
  • 21 May-22 May - Historic B-29-95-BW Superfortress, 45-21768, "Kee Bird", of the 46th/72d Reconnaissance Squadrons, abandoned in 1947 and recently restored to flying condition after a number of highly calamitous setbacks, is severely damaged by fire while attempting to take off from a frozen lakebed in Greenland. Its remains are abandoned to sink into the melting ice.
  • 29 August - U-2R, 68-10338, Item 060, of the 9th Reconnaissance Wing, call sign "Mooch 31", with sensor pod on pylon above spine, departs RAF Fairford at 0727 hrs. for intended Bosnian overflight mission, but port underwing pogo fails to detach. Pilot Capt. David A. Hawkens, 35, from McLean, Virginia, returns to airfield runway 27, attempts to shake loose the outrigger. Just after passing the runway’s midpoint the aircraft enters a stall during which the left wing drops, hits the runway, breaking off the wingtip. The aircraft veers left towards the grass, strikes a power sub-station and crashes through the base’s perimeter fence. As the aircraft bounces on a concrete taxiway pilot attempts ejection, but zero-zero seat is outside of parameters, pilot chute deploys but main canopy does not have time to fully inflate. Pilot comes to rest 150 feet E of airframe which ends up in farmer's field. Nose breaks off, rest of U-2 fully engulfed in fire. Pilot is transported to Princess Margaret Hospital in Swindon by police helicopter where he dies at 0955 hrs. He is interred at Arlington National Cemetery.[157]
  • 2 September - RAF Kinloss Wing Nimrod MR.2, XV239, crashes into Lake Ontario, at Toronto, Canada during the 46th Canadian National Exhibition International airshow, killing all seven crew of 120 Squadron.[158][159] Video of this crash is widely available on the internet.
  • 22 September – A USAF E-3B Sentry, 77-0354, c/n 21554, of the 962nd AACS, 552nd ACW, crashes shortly after take off from Elmendorf AFB, Alaska, when a flock of Canadian snow geese were ingested by its engines. All 26 crew members die, including 2 Canadian air crew members. This was the first loss of an E-3 since the type entered service in 1977.[160]

1996

  • 29 January - An F-14A-135-GR Tomcat, BuNo 162599, of VF-213, crashes on take-off from Nashville Airport, Nashville, Tennessee, killing both crew and three people on ground as fireball engulfs three houses. The U.S. Navy determines that the accident was the result of pilot error, when pilot Lt. Cmdr. John Bates, attempted a high speed, steep-angle take-off, the review board announces in April 1996.[161] Pilot loses spatial orientation in overcast, suffers vertigo.[162] Bates had previously cracked up an F-14 in April 1995.
  • 2 February - An F-14A Tomcat crashes in the northern Persian Gulf. The U.S. Navy announces a three-day stand down for F-14 operations. The safety standdown will allow the service "to assess all aspects of operations and procedures," a Navy spokeswoman said. She said the review will "assess available information to determine if any procedural or other modifications to F-14 operations are warranted."[163]
  • 18 February - An F-14A-110-GR Tomcat, converted to F-14D(R), BuNo 161158, of VF-11, suffers engine failure, disintegration of airframe, crashes into the Pacific Ocean at ~1230 hrs., ~120 miles off the coast of southern California during routine flight exercises, killing two crew. The fighter was part of a squadron which was taking part in a two-week operation with the USS Carl Vinson, said Doug Sayers, spokesman for NAS Miramar, California.[164] Kenneth Bacon, chief spokesman for Secretary of Defense William Perry, said Perry met Tuesday, 20 February, with Adm. Mike Boorda, the chief of naval operations, to hear how the Navy is approaching its investigation of the latest crash, the Associated Press reported on 21 February. The Navy sees no accident pattern in two fatal crashes of F-14 fighter jets in the past month that would call for special safety measures, officials said Tuesday. The pilot was Lt. Terence Lee Clark, 27, of Hemet, California.[165]
  • 3 April - A USAF Boeing CT-43, 73-1149 (c/n 20696), on an official trade mission, crashed on approach to Dubrovnik Airport, Croatia, killing United States Secretary of Commerce Ron Brown and 34 other people.
  • 17 April - An F-14B Tomcat converted from F-14A-120-GR, BuNo 161444, 'AD 201', of VF-101[166], based at NAS Oceana, Virginia Beach, Virginia, crashes near Norfolk, Virginia, the fourth accident for the type this year. The two crew survive.[167]
  • 18 May - An F-14A-115-GR Tomcat, BuNo 161282, 'NF 101', of VF-154 crashes into the Pacific Ocean 500 miles W of Guam after suffering engine malfunction. Both crew eject safely.[162]
  • 12 June – Two Australian Army S-70A Black Hawk helicopters collide during a night training exercise near Townsville, Queensland, killing 18 soldiers.
  • 11 July - An F-16C Block 50C Fighting Falcon, 91-0354, of the 77th Fighter Squadron, being relocated from Shaw AFB, South Carolina to Eglin AFB, Florida to avoid Hurricane Bertha, crashes at ~1530 hrs. into a neighborhood 20 miles N of Pensacola, Florida, following an engine failure, striking two homes and killing a four-year old boy. A man and woman in the house suffered burns. The pilot was forced to eject two miles short of the runway. The pilot was uninjured. The accident investigation showed foreign object damage to a fan blade caused a crack seven thousands of an inch (too small to visually spot). The blade was ingested into the engine. The engine had failed three times during the flight with two relights. With the third engine failure the pilot ditched the aircraft into what he hoped was an unpopulated area, and ejected at only 200 feet.[168]
  • 14 July - NATO Boeing E-3B Sentry AWACS, LX-N90457, c/n 22852, ex-79-0457, overruns runway into sea on takeoff from Preveza AFB, Preveza, Greece. Fuselage breaks in two, but no casualties among crew of 16. Aircraft had rolled out at Boeing Renton, Washington plant on 21 April 1984, first flown 5 June 1984. Delivered to NATO on 19 December 1984 after AEW suite fitted out by Dornier.[169]
  • 15 July – At approximately 1803 hrs., a Belgian Lockheed C-130H Hercules, registration number CH-06, c/n 4473, crashed at Eindhoven Air Base in the Netherlands after bird strikes stopped three engines. A total of 34 people lost their lives as a result of the accident, and seven people were seriously injured.

1997

  • 9 January - Royal Air Force Hawker Harrier GR.7, ZD377, crashed at Laarbruch, ending up inverted on runway, burned.[170]
  • 10 January - F-15C-39-MC Eagle. 85-0099, c/n 0952/C341, of the 58th TFS, 33rd TFW, based at Eglin AFB, catches fire on take-off from Eglin. Pilot returns for an immediate landing and egresses safely on the ground. Aircraft completely destroyed by fire.[171] This aircraft credited with MiG-25 kill by AIM-7M on 19 January 1991 during Operation Desert Storm while flown by Capt. Lawrence E. Pitta.
  • 4 February - Two Israeli CH-53 Sea Stallion Yas'ur 2000s, 357 and 903, collide in darkness near the remote She'ar Yeshuv kibbutz, over northern Israel at ~1900 hrs. in a storm, killing 73 Israel Defense Forces soldiers. See 1997 Israeli helicopter disaster.[172]
  • 13 September - Luftwaffe Tupolev 154M, 11+02, c/n 813, of 1 Staffel/FBS (Flugbereitschaft), used for Open Skies treaty verification, collided with a US Air Force C-141B Starlifter, 65-9405, of the 305th AMW, about 120 km (75 miles) W of the coast of Namibia over the Atlantic Ocean, killing all 24 aboard the Tu-154 and all nine on the C-141. Accident investigations by both countries, released 31 March 1998, found that the Tu-154 was flying at the wrong altitude, 35,000 feet (11,600 m.) instead of 39,000 feet (12,900 m.), and was thus primarily at fault. Contributory factor was chronically poor ATC in the area.[173]
  • 14 September - A Lockheed F-117, 81-793, of the 7th Fighter Squadron, 49th Fighter Wing, at Holloman AFB, New Mexico, lost its port wing at 1500 hrs. during a pass over Martin State Airport, Middle River, Maryland during the Chesapeake Air Show and crashed into a residential area of Bowley's Quarters, Maryland damaging several homes. Four people on the ground received minor injuries and the pilot, Maj. Bryan "B.K." Knight, 36, escaped with minor injuries after ejecting from the aircraft. A month-long Air Force investigation found that four of 39 fasteners for the wing's structural support assembly were apparently left off when the wings were removed and reinstalled in January 1996, according to a report released 12 December 1997.
  • 23 September - Static test F/A-18E airframe, ST56, being barricade tested at NAES Lakehurst, New Jersey by being powered down a 1.5 mile (2.4 km) track by a J57-powered jet car, flips over and crashes into nearby woods when the steel cable linking the barrier with underground hydraulic engines fails.[174]
  • 2 October - An F-14A-120-GR Tomcat, BuNo 161425, converted to F-14A+, later redesignated F-14B, of VF-101, based at NAS Oceana, Virginia Beach, Virginia, crashes into the Atlantic Ocean off the North Carolina coast Thursday afternoon, moments after the two crew eject. "A Coast Guard helicopter later plucked the Tomcat's radar intercept officer from 4- to 5-foot seas, but rescuers were still searching for the jet's pilot after nightfall. The Navy declined to identify either of the crewmen...until their families were notified. The radar intercept officer was undergoing a medical examination at Oceana Thursday night, and was reportedly in good condition."[175] The U.S. Navy suspends search for the missing aviator on 5 October. The cause of the crash was not known, the Navy said in a statement.[176] A failure of left horizontal stab linkage - while the trailing edge was down - threw the plane into violent right-hand rolls. When the pilot put in corrective stick, the plane would pitch down violently due to a stuck left-hand horizontal stab. This flight condition was unrecoverable. The RIO pulled the ejection handle at 7000 feet. The mishap pilot died when his ejection seat failed.[166]
  • 5 December - Russian Air Force Antonov An-124 Ruslan, RA-82005, delivering two Sukhoi Su-27 Flankers to Vietnam, loses both port engines at 200 feet (60 m) on take-off from Irkutsk, crashing into residential area, killing eight crew, 15 passengers, and 45 on the ground (some accounts list higher ground casualties). Cause was thought to be either contaminated fuel or wrong grade of fuel, taken on at Irkutsk.[139]

1998

1999

  • 13 January - A Washington Air National Guard KC-135E-BN Stratotanker, 59-1452, c/n 17940, call sign ESSO 77, crashes short of the runway at Geilenkirchen Air Base, Germany, killing all 4 crew members on board. The aircraft was assigned to the 141st Air Refueling Wing, Fairchild AFB, Washington[185]
  • 21 January – A Nicaraguan Air Force Antonov An-26, 126, c/n 14206, crashes into a mountain near Bluefields, Nicaragua killing all 28 on board.[186]
  • 21 January - Royal Air Force Panavia Tornado GR.1 ZA330, 'B-08', crashed into a Cessna 152 II, G-BPZX near Mattersley Nottinghamshire. In the Air Accident Report 3/2000 the conclusion was none of the pilots saw each other in time to take avoiding action. Both crew of the Tornado, Flight Lieutenant Greg Hurst and Sottotenete Matteo Di Carlo, as well as the pilot and passenger in the Cessna, were killed.
  • 28 January- F-15C-30-MC Eagle. 82-0020, c/n 834/C251, of the 85th Test and Evaluation Squadron, 53rd Wing, piloted by Joe "Corn" Hruska, has mid-air collision at 35,000 feet over the Gulf of Mexico with F-15C-37-MC Eagle. 84-0011, c/n 0920/C314, of the 85th Test and Evaluation Squadron, 53rd Wing, 80 miles S of Eglin over Eglin water range during a 2 versus 3 Dissimilar Air Combat Training (DACT). Both pilots eject, pilot of 82-0020 slightly injured. Pilots rescued after 45 minutes in the water by MH-53, call sign "COWBOY 22", on instrument check-flight out of Hurlburt Field.[187]
  • 7 March – An Indian Air Force Antonov An-32 crashes upon landing in New Delhi, India during poor weather. All 19 people on board are killed.
  • 7 April - A KC-135R-BN Stratotanker, 57-1478, c/n 17549, of the 151st Air Refuelling Squadron, Tennessee Air National Guard, is written off while undergoing maintenance at the Oklahoma ALC, Tinker AFB, Oklahoma, when the cabin is over-pressurized during a test and ruptures, tearing a 35 foot (10.6 m) hole in the aft fuselage, allowing tail section to drop to the ground.[188]
  • 18 April - Royal Australian Air Force F-111G, A8-291, of 6 Sqn., crashes about 2230 hrs. while on exercises in Malaysia. Believed to have hit one of two peaks on small island Pulua Aur, off the east coast of the Malay Peninsula, and then crashed into the South China Sea. The two crew, Sqn. Ldr. Steve Hobbs and Flt. Lt. Anthony Short, are killed.[189]
  • 22 April - A Russian Air Force Sukhoi Su-24MR Fencer disappears from radar at 1140 hrs. while descending through cloud during a coastal surveillance flight. Wreckage found ~9 miles (15 km) from Novorossiysk and 25 miles (40 km) from Anapa. Both crew, Lt. Col. A. Kovalenko and Maj. A. Malkerov, did not eject and are KWF.[188]
  • 27 May - An Indian Air Force HAL MiG-27L of 9 Wolfpack Sqn. suffers flame-out, fails to get relight, over Hunzi Ghund, Pakistan, during Kargil conflict. The MiG-27 pilot, Flt Lt K. Nachiketa successfully ejected at 1045 hrs., and he was captured by Pakistani ground forces as a POW. Pakistan claimed it as a shoot-down.[190]
  • 27 May - An Indian Air Force MiG-21MF, C-1539, of 17 Golden Arrows Sqn., is shot down by a Pakistani FIM-92 Stinger while searching for downed MiG-27 pilot during the Kargil conflict. Aircraft comes down at 1105 hrs., some 7.5 miles (12 km.) inside occupied Kashmir. Although pilot Squadron Leader Ajay Ahuja ejected safely, Pakistan claimed he had been killed. After his body was returned 28 May, "initial examination found bullet wounds which suggested he had been shot after ejecting. This was the first time since 1971 that India had lost an aircraft to hostile fire."[191]
  • 28 May - An Indian Air Force Mi-17 Hip helicopter is shot down by Pakistan air defence units using an FIM-92 Stinger missile during the Kargil conflict. Four IAF personnel were killed.[191]
  • 12 June - Russian Air Force Sukhoi Su-30MK-1 demonstrator '01' with vectored thrust crashes on opening day of the Paris Air Show at Le Bourget Airport. At the completion of a downward spiralling maneuver, the tail contacted the grass surface. With almost no forward speed the fighter was able to pull away from the ground, wings level, with an up pitch of 10-15 degrees and climb to ~150 feet (46 m), with the right jet nozzle deflected fully up and flames engulfing the left engine. Sukhoi test pilot Vyacheslav Averynov initiated ejection with navigator Vladimir Shendrikh departing the aircraft first. The Zvezda K-36D-3.5 ejection seats work perfectly and both crew descend on a taxiway unhurt. The Su-30 impacted some distance from the crew. Video of this accident is widely available on the internet.[192][193]
  • 10 August - A Pakistan Navy Breguet Atlantic, believed to be serialled '91', c/n 33, of 29 Squadron, is shot down by two Indian Air Force MiG-21 jets, citing airspace violation. Dubbed the Atlantique Incident, it raises tensions between India and Pakistan.[194]
  • 20 September - A Swedish Air Force JAS-39 Gripen, 39156, '56', of F7 Wing, 2nd Sqn., crashes into Lake Vänern at about 1430 hrs. during an air-to-air combat exercise. Aircraft sank in about 260 feet of water (80 m). Pilot ejected safely and was recovered by Hkp 10 SAR helicopter. The accident was caused by a design flaw in the plane's control system, rendering it in a stalled mode after passing another plane's vortex. This was the first loss of a Gripen since the type became operational.[195][196]
  • 10 December – A United States Air Force C-130E Hercules, 63-7854, of 61st Airlift Squadron, 463rd Airlift Group, crashes during landing at Ahmed Al Jaber air base, Kuwait City, Kuwait killing three of the 94 people on board. Investigation report, released 31 March 2000, blamed crew complacency and failure to follow governing directives during approach to the runway, failing to monitor instruments, a critical function for night flying in reduced visibility.[197]

See also

External links

References

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  142. ^ Simon, Anna, "Helicopter crash investigation continues", The Greenville News, Greenville, South Carolina, Tuesday, 20 October 1992, page 1C.
  143. ^ Simon, Anna, "Helicopter airlifted from site of crash", The Greenville News, Greenville, South Carolina, Friday 23 October 1992, pages 1A, 1C.
  144. ^ Greenville, South Carolina, "Italian pilots die in crash", wire service, Greenville News, Wednesday 21 October 1992, page 2A.
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  180. ^ ASN Aircraft accident Antonov 12B RA-12973 Luanda-4 de Fevereiro Airport (LAD)
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  193. ^ YouTube - Su-30MKI crash at Paris Air Show Le Bourget 1999
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  195. ^ The accident report from the Swedish Accident Investigation Board (in Swedish)
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