Lovington, NM Jets Crash, Oct 1964

Two Jets Crash as 3 Collide

Lovington, N.M. (AP)-Three Air Force T38 Talon jet trainers, flying in a tight 4-plane formation at 20,000 feet, bumped together shortly after noon Saturday. Two planes crashed, but each pilot ejected safely.

An Air Force spokesman at Reese Air Force Base, Lubbock, Texas, where the planes were stationed, said the pilots weren’t sure of what caused the collision.

One plane crashed on the Marvin McClish farm about 12 miles north of here. The others crashed about two miles northeast of the first craft.

The pilots who ejected were 2d Lt. John F. Segura of Louisville, Ky., and 2d Lt. Van W. Schultz minor cuts on his chin. Schultz wasn’t injured.

The third plane in the collision, piloted by 1st Lt. William Bookout, an instructor from Torrance, Calif., made it back to Reese. Neither Bookout nor a student passenger, 2d Lt. David Reynolds, was injured.

The fourth plane was piloted by Flight Lt. Harold Hart of the Royal Canadian Air Force. It carried 2d Lt. Richard Dale of Tallahassee, Fla., as a passenger.

McClish said, “We were eating and heard a loud crash. We thought at first it was a sonic boom and then we saw the smoke about a mile northwest of the house.

“We drove toward the smoke when we saw a second plane heading northwest about 50 yards above the ground. It looked as if it didn’t have any signs, but it was traveling so fast it was hard to tell.”

McClish picked up one pilot and rancher Lee Duncan picked up the other.

Both pilots were taken to Lovington-Lea General Hospital. A helicopter was sent from Reese to Pick up the pilots.

Dallas Morning News, Dallas, TX 11 Oct 1964