Perryville, AZ Tanker And Plane Collide, Mar 1982

Sky Harbor AZ impact sight.jpg Sky Harbor AZ impact sight 2.jpg


Perryville, Ariz. (UPI) -- A national guard air tanker and a single-engine plane collided in-flight and crashed west of Phoenix Saturday, killing six people aboard the two aircraft.
Cpl. Kenneth Shauinger of the Maricopa County sheriff's office said no one aboard the planes survived. No one on the ground was injured.
Arizona Air National Guard officials identified the four men aboard the KC-135 cargo plane as:
Lt. Col. TED L. BEAM, 40, of Scottsdale, the plane's navigator.
Lt. Col. JAMES FLOOR, 53, of Paradise Valley, the plane's pilot and commander of the 197th squadron.
Major TRUMAN R. YOUNG, JR., 40, of Mesa, an assistant U. S. attorney general.
Tech. Sgt. DONALD PLOUGH, 47, of Mesa, a Salt River Project employee.
Capt. Donald Bender, an air guard spokesman, said BEAM and FLOOR were full-time civilian employees of the air guard. YOUNG, JR., was a weekend pilot.
The two people aboard the single-engine Grumman Yankee were identified as:
JAMES BRESHEARS, 48, Livermore, Calif.
KENNETH GURTZ, 36, Pleasanton, Calif.
Witnesses on the ground said the crew of the military tanker appeared to see the single-engine Grumman moments before impace and banked hard to the left.
The smaller plane crashed into the nose of the air tanker, causing an in-flight explosion that scattered debris over a half-mile area.
A 25-foot long piece of the plane's tail section landed within a few feet of a water tank at the new medium-security state prison that opened earlier this year. Corrections Department spokesman John Turner said no prison facilities were damaged.
Prison officials suspended visiting privileges at the facility and cordoned off the area.
Deputy Roy Seebert was on patrol in the area about 10:50 a.m. MST and saw the military aircraft plunge to the ground.
"He saw a military jet totally involved in flames come out of the clouds, accompanied by a large amount of debris," Shauinger said.
The two planes apparently were traveling below cloud level at an altitude of about 1,200 feet.
Shortly after the crash, there were reports that two parachutes had been seen in the area.
But, Shauinger said investigators found no trace of the reported chutes. He added that it would not be easy for people to parachute from the cargo plane.
The military craft was stationed at Air National Guard headquarters at Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport and apparently was en route to Lake Air Force Base, above seven miles northeast of the crash site.

Daily Herald Chicago Illinois 1982-03-14