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Carrizozo, NM Fighter-Bomber Crash, Oct 1984

FIGHTER JET CRASH KILLS 2 CREWMEN IN TRAINING FLIGHT.

Carrizozo, N.M. (AP) -- An Air Force F-111D fighter-bomber on a low-level training mission slammed into the side of a rocky hill and exploded, killing its two crewmen, authorities said.
"The biggest piece (of the craft) we could find was maybe a 3-foot-square piece," Lincoln County Chief Deputy Sheriff Charlie Cox said after the crash last night about 15 miles north of this south-central New Mexico town. "We didn't find any survivors."
The names of the dead crewmen were being withheld until relatives could be notified, said Sgt. Victoria Raun, a public affairs specialist at Cannon Air Force Base. The swingwing plane was based at Cannon, about 180 miles northeast of the crash site.
The weather was windy with spotty cloudiness when the plane crashed at 7:48 p.m., said Cox.
Gordon Barham, a rancher, said he and his wife, Jan, were sitting in the living room of their trailer home when the plane plowed into foothills two or three miles away.
"I saw a little flame and then a great big ball of fire and then it shook our trailer," he said. "It was a pretty good boom."
The plane "blew up and it's such a rough area that it hit on. There's big boulders on the side of the hill," Barham said. "Parts are scattered out approximately 500 years.
"The elevation is 6,200 feet here, and I imagine that's the elevation that the plane hit," Barham said. "Our house sits on top of a hill and that's a little spooky. They hit on top of a hill, too."

The Capital Annapolis Maryland 1984-10-18

Comments

I was on Mobility from Cannon AFB NM Crash & Recovey @ This Site

The biggest piece I heard that we picked up was the landing gear. The crash was scattered over 6 sq miles. The valley floor was at 6200 ft above sea level. The jet hit what they called a ft hill/ A thousand foot high / foot hill. ( More like a mountain to this Texan) Top of the foot hill was was 7200 ft above sea level ~ @ 700 mph after clipping some trees on the ridge before this hill ~ hit at about 6900 ft above sea level. The farmer that owned the property said he looked out his kitchen window and saw a 500 ft high fireball as the jet was loaded with 40,000 gallons of JP4. And there was about a 60 mph wind at the crest of the foot hill. It blew a boulder about 3.5 ft diameter where it bounced 3 time's away from the base of the ft hill on the valley floor. A week later when the rain, sleet , snow stopped, we could finally climb the ft hill because it was dry enough, But we had ample to pick up the first week on the valley floor. But I finally saw the gigantic Boulder where that little chuck broke off of that bounced across the valley floor. It was at least 10 times that size & slid half way down crushing small trees underneath it / & I mean crushing. We were using Ziploc sandwich bags for body bags ~ I can be way more graphic. Of the 40,000 lb F11 I heard we recovered 38,000 lbs. We were out there for 2 weeks. I was just an Airman 27 Supply Cannon AFB. The town of Carrizozo there catered to our needs ~ Dairy Queen I think it was, were open & running at 5 am when we were pulling out adding things like breakfast burritos because we requested it.



article | by Dr. Radut