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