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Last updated: 1 December 2021
Date:Tuesday 30 July 1968
Type:Silhouette image of generic K35A model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different
Boeing KC-135A Stratotanker
Operator:United States Air Force - USAF
Registration: 56-3655
MSN: 17404/94
First flight: 1958-04-25 (10 years 3 months)
Total airframe hrs:6089
Engines: 4 Pratt & Whitney J57-P
Crew:Fatalities: 9 / Occupants: 9
Passengers:Fatalities: 0 / Occupants: 0
Total:Fatalities: 9 / Occupants: 9
Aircraft damage: Destroyed
Aircraft fate: Written off (damaged beyond repair)
Location:56 km (35 mls) E of Red Buff, CA (   United States of America)
Phase: En route (ENR)
Departure airport:Merced-Castle AFB, CA (MER/KMER), United States of America
Destination airport:Merced-Castle AFB, CA (MER/KMER), United States of America
The KC-135 departed Castle AFB (MER) on a refueling training mission. The crew was conducting a practice emergency descent from FL390 to FL230. After a sharp turn the vertical stabilizer separated and the airplane crashed in a timberland forest on Mount Lassen.

Tail failure
Loss of control

» Boeing KC-135 Stratotanker: More Than Just a Tanker (Aerofax Series) / Robert S Hopkins, III


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This information is not presented as the Flight Safety Foundation or the Aviation Safety Network’s opinion as to the cause of the accident. It is preliminary and is based on the facts as they are known at this time.
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