Palm Springs, CA Transports Collide, Dec 1980



Palm Springs, Calif. -- A pilot's apparent miscalculation during an aerial picture-taking session near Palm Springs led to the death of two Arizona men and forced two others to make an emergency landing in their crippled aircraft after a midair condition. All four men were in Southern California to help fight the area's brushfires when their four-engine C-54 air transporters collided Tuesday. Pilot CLYDE ALFORD apparently misjudged the location of the second plane after flying under it, clipping one of the other plane's left engines and damaging the tail section of his own aircraft as he began his ascent.
ALFORD, about 50, and RONALD LETNESS, about 30, both of Tucson, were killed when their crippled plane crashed and burned. The pilot of the second plane, KENNETH WHITE, 56, and his co-pilot, GARY GARRETT, 41, both of Tucson, landed safely at Palm Springs Airport.

Casa Grande Dispatch Arizona 1980-12-03