Mesa, AZ Constellation Crash, May 1975


Mesa, Ariz. (AP) -- Investigators were attempting today to determine the cause of a crash of a flaming four-engine plane enroute to Canada to spray forests for insects, which crashed killing all six men aboard.
The plane narrowly missed a children's home Sunday as the pilot attempted to return the crippled craft to the airfield from which he had just taken off.
The victims were identified as:
ALAN MOSELEY, Litchfield Park, Ariz., the pilot.
HAROLD JULIEN, Tempe, Ariz, the co-pilot.
CHARLES LYNN, JR., Long Beach, Calif., flight engineer.
BASIL BAKER, Peoria, Ariz., mechanic.
EARL BLACK, Chandler, Ariz., mechanic.
SAM FRASIER, Glendale, Ariz, alternate co-pilot.
The converted World War II Lockheed Super Constellation had just left Falcon Field, about a mile to the east, when it crashed. Officials said the craft carried 3,500 gallons of fuel when it took off.
Mrs. Jack Wentworth, wife of the director of the Sunshine Acres Children's Home, said the plane skimmed over the rooftops before slamming into a tree, destroying an old shack and bursting into flames.
The blazing wreckage come to a half short of a nearby home, witnesses said.
Donald Burkholder, 17, a resident of the home, said he and five companions had been in the shack only minutes earlier. He said the group had been hunting jackrabbits in the area.
"We were only a couple of hundred yards away when we saw the plane nearing the ground," Burkholder said. "The inboard engine on the left wing was smoking heavily. As it came in the plane hit a tree near our shack, then took the top off the shack before plowing into the ground."
The triple-tailed plane, which had been converted to a crop duster by Helitec Corp. of Mesa, an aircraft rebuilding firm, was enroute to Canada. Officials said the plane was scheduled to land ata Kansas City, Kan., first.
Ralph Burkhard, of Mesa, who said he was a veteran pilot, watched the plane takeoff. He said the plane was about 800 feet in the air when the left inboard engine caught fire.

Arizona Daily Sun Yuma 1975-05-12