Air Refueling Archive

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KC-135: History of Destroyed Aircraft

If anybody has information on these crashes, please use the comments below as a forum to add your inputs.

Below is a table that shows all destroyed -135 aircraft. The list includes KC-135, RC-135, and EC-135 aircraft. Even a brief look at this listing shows that flying the KC-135 and similar aircraft was anything but safe. Since the R model conversion the safety record has been on par with that of any modern airliner.

Date Tail Number KC-135 Model Base Summary of Events
27-Jun-58 56-3599 A Westover Heavy weight on takeoff, crashed one mile beyond runway
24-Nov-58 56-3598 A Loring Crosswind takeoff, lost No. 4 engine, lost control
21-Mar-59 58-0002 A Bergstrom Flew through thunderstorm, experienced structural failure
22-Jun-59 57-1446 A Walker Main fuel tank explosion on ramp (maintenance)
15-Oct-59 57-1513 A Columbus In-flight collision with B-52
3-Feb-60 56-3628 A Walker Gusty wind during takeoff, lost control, went off runway and crashed into 57-1449 and 57-1457 on ramp and a hanger, all three burned
3-Feb-60 57-1449 A Walker
3-Feb-60 57-1457 A Walker
8-Mar-60 57-1466 A Carswell Fog, aircraft landed on nm short, hit a power line and a building
18-Nov-60 56-3605 A Loring Hard landing, broke nose gear off, caused fuel fire
25-Jan-62 56-3657 A Altus Starter explosion during engine start, caused fuel fire
9-May-62 56-3613 A Loring Heavy weight takeoff, No. 2 engine failed, crashed 2500 feet beyond end of runway
8-Aug-62 55-3144 A Wright-Patterson Landed 2700 feet short of runway
10-Sep-62 60-0352 A Ellsworth Controlled flight into terrain (CFIT) at Mt. Kit Carson near Fairchild AFB, WA
23-Oct-62 62-4136 B McGuire Landed 1000 feet short of runway in right bank at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba
27-Feb-63 56-3597 A Castle Lost No. 1 engine during takeoff at Eielson, low visibility, night time
21-Jun-63 57-1498 A Westover Controlled flight into terrain; struck 790-foot hill, 5 nm short and 1 nm left of runway
28-Aug-63 61-0319 A Homestead In-flight collision with another KC-135 (Tail No. 61-0322) over Atlantic Ocean
28-Aug-63 61-0322 A Homestead In-flight collision with another KC-135 (Tail No. 61-0319) over Atlantic Ocean
11-May-64 60-0332 B Travis Hit a tower, 3500 feet short of runway, in heavy rain
8-Jul-64 60-0340 A Larson In-flight collision with F-105 during aerial refueling
4-Jan-65 61-0265 A Loring Lost No. 3 and No. 4 engines during takeoff, crashed 12,000 feet past runway
16-Jan-65 57-1442 A Clinton-Sherman Suspected hard-over rudder at Wichita
26-Feb-65 63-8882 A Dow In-flight collision with B-47, clear weather, over North Atlantic
3-Jun-65 63-8042 A Walker Controlled flight into terrain on low approach, in blowing sand storm
25-Jun-65 60-0373 A McGuire Controlled flight into terrain, night takeoff at El Toro, hit hills four miles beyond runway
17-Jan-66 61-0273 A Seymour Johnson In-flight collision with a B-52. Famous loss of nuclear weapons of Spanish coast.
17-May-66 57-1424 A Amarillo Wind rock during landing, lost control
19-May-66 57-1444 A Kadena Crashed during takeoff, performance problem, possibly windshear
19-Jan-67 56-3616 A Fairchild Controlled flight into terrain; hit Shadow Mountain during landing to base
19-Apr-67 55-3140 A Castle Destroyed during maintenance at Wake Island, right main gear failure
17-Jul-67 58-1465 R (rec) Offutt Stalled during takeoff, high rotation, in clear weather
17-Jan-68 58-0026 A March Crashed during takeoff in poor weather at Minot
30-Jul-68 56-3655 A Castle Structural failure during Dutch roll demonstration
24-Sep-68 55-3133 A Loring Three-engine go-around, forgot speed brakes, landed short
2-Oct-68 55-3138 A Robins Takeoff aborted after nose tires blew, went off runway at U-Tapoa
22-Oct-68 61-0301 A Westover Controlled flight into terrain; contact lost near CCK Taiwan
13-Jan-69 59-1491 RC/S Eielson Landing; lost control on icy runway in snow, at night
25-Mar-69 56-3602 A Loring Takeoff; aborted after S-1 following loss of water injection, broke apart
5-Jun-69 62-4137 RC/E Eielson Unknown cause; in-flight vibration reported, lost contact
19-Dec-69 56-3629 A Ellsworth Structural failure; lost contact, CCK Taiwan
3-Jun-71 58-0039 Q Torrejon Crashed following in-flight explosion of the nr. 1 main fuel tank. Chafing of boost pump wires in conduits was determined to be as a possible ignition source.
31 June 1971 61-0331 B Wright-Patterson Cause unknown; lost over Pacific Ocean
13-Mar-72 58-0048 A Carswell landed short; steep, idle approach
1-Jul-72 63-8473 F French AF Takeoff; lost No. 3 engine initially, then No. 4 later
8-Mar-73 63-7989 A Lockbourne Collided with another KC-135 (Tail No. 63-7980) during alert exercise
5-Mar-74 57-1500 A McConnell Crashed on takeoff; applied wrong rudder
8-Dec-75 60-0354 A Eielson Extreme cold weather; gear problem, stalled
6-Feb-76 60-0368 A K.I. Sawyer Crashed during approach into Torrejon
26-Sep-76 61-0296 A K.I. Sawyer Crashed near Alpena, Michigan
4-Mar-77 62-3522 A Griffiss Engine fire during maintenance
29-Apr-77 58-0101 A Castle Hit cattle on runway during touch-and-go at Beale
14-Sep-77 62-3536 EC/K Kirtland Controlled flight into terrain; after takeoff, hit mountain
19-Sep-79 58-0127 A Castle Flight instructor simulated engine failure on runway, lost control
30-Jan-80 58-0007 EC/P Langley Burned on ramp during heating of water
8-Feb-80 60-0338 Q Plattsburg Burned on ramp; aft body fire during refueling
15-Mar-81 61-2664 RC/S Eielson Landed short at Shemya, sheared off landing gear
6-May-81 61-0328 EC/N Wright-Patterson Runaway trim, rapidly lost altitude, Maryland
13-Mar-82 57-1489 A Arizona ANG In-flight collision with light aircraft during approach
19-Mar-82 58-0031 A Illinois ANG Exploded at 13,500 feet on approach to O’Hare
25-Feb-85 55-3121 RC/T Offutt Controlled flight into terrain; struck mountain near Valdez, Alaska during approach
19-Mar-85 61-0316 A Barksdale Burned on ramp in Cairo during refueling
27-Aug-85 59-1443 A Castle Hard landing, engine fire, stalled in turn
17-Jun-86 63-7983 A Grissom Hit the runway at Howard AB Panama, became airborne again and crashed into a hill in the jungle.
13-FEB-87 60-0330 A Altus Landed on the runway at altus afb on fire, cause was an arc in the fuel vapor area due to a compromised coax from the HF radio, aircraft subsequently burned to the ground in the infield after it rolled off the runway
13-Mar-87 60-0361 A Fairchild Airshow practice, hit wake turbulence, lost control
11-Oct-88 60-0317 A Wurtsmith Crashed on landing
31-Jan-89 63-7990 A K.I. Sawyer High crosswind, performance loss, lost control
21-Sep-89 57-1481 E Eielson Burned on ramp at Eielson
4-Oct-89 56-3592 A Loring In-flight explosion (aft body tank) during approach
11-Jan-90 59-1494 E Pease Burned on ramp at Pease (Video)
29-May-92 62-3584 EC/C Eielson On landing; ran off end of runway at Pope
10-Dec-93 57-1470 R Wisconsin ANG Burned on ramp; center wing explosion
13-Jan-99 59-1452 E Washington ANG Runaway trim in flare, nose up, stalled
26-Sep-06 63-8886 R Fairchild Struck on runway by departing aircraft at Manas AB, Kyrgyzstan.
3-May-13 63-8877 R McConnell In-flight breakup over Kyrgyzstan due to malfunctioning rudder power control unit.
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June 4, 2009 Posted by | 1950s, 1960s, 1970s, 1980s, 1990s, KC-135, KC-135A, KC-135Q, KC-135R | , , | 392 Comments

P-3 Orion Refueling

A Lockheed P-3 Orion refueling from a KC-135.

A Lockheed P-3 Orion refueling from a KC-135. Click image to enlarge.

This is a rare picture of a Navy P-3 Orion moving into the contact position behind a KC-135. I spent a good 30 minutes trying to dig up information on this program but came up empty handed. If anyone knows about this program or has more pictures please let me know.

Image Source:

May 10, 2009 Posted by | 1980s, External View, KC-135, P-3 | , | 3 Comments