Edmonton, AB Military Plane Crash, Nov 1982


Edmonton, Alberta (AP) - Seven airmen, including an exchange officer from the U.S. Air Force perished when a Hercules C-130 of Canadian Forces crashed and burned Tuesday while conducting a low altitude training exercise.
A military spokesman said the plane was flying at 300-450 feet on a parachute extraction run when it crashed into a snow-covered field near the end of the runway at the Namao Canadian Forces Base on the outskirts of Edmonton.
In low altitude parachute extraction, the plane's rear ramp is opened and cargo loads are pulled out by parachutes.
Canadian Forces identified the victims as:
CAPT. MIKE KRMPITZ, a U.S. Air Force pilot who had been based in Edmonton with the 435th Squadron for about two years.
CAPT. MIKE SMITH, a pilot from the 436th Squadron at Trenton, Ont.
Master Cpl. LAYTON SMITH, loadmaster, also from Trenton.
CAPT. TERRY HARPER, a pilot, the 435th Squadron at Edmonton.
CAPT. RICHARD LOVELL, an instructor, the 435th Squadron at Edmonton.
SGT. DON BUCHAN, flight engineer, the 435th Squadron at Edmonton.
SGT. JEAN GIONET, loadmaster, the 435th Squadron at Edmonton.
Officials said information on who was flying the four-engine cargo craft, and the ages and hometowns of the victims, would be released later.
A witness told a photographer at the scene, that an engine seemed to explode just before the aircraft plunged to the ground as it approached the drop zone. The load of training cargo that had been pulled from the craft was about 60 feet from the wreckage.
Visibility was good and there were only light winds when the crash occurred just before 2 p.m.
A military spokesman said the crash was the worst in the history of the base, which opened in 1951.
Military personnel searched the area for debris that might indicate the cause of the accident. A base spokesman said the plane's flight recorder had been recovered and officials were on the way to the scene.
Capt. Norbert Cyr of the Defense Department in Ottawa said C-130 crashes are "very rare." The last crash of a Canadian Forces Hercules was in October, 1980.

San Bernardino County Sun California 1982-11-17