Date & Time: Jun 13, 1971 at 1330 LT
Operator:
Registration:
61-0331
Flight Phase:
Flight
Survivors:
No
Schedule:
Pago Pago - Hickam
MSN:
18238/C16
YOM:
1962
Country:
World
Region:
World
Crew on board:
4
Crew fatalities:
4
Pax on board:
20
Pax fatalities:
20
Other fatalities:
0
Total fatalities:
24
Aircraft flight hours:
11062
Circumstances:
The crew departed Pago Pago on a flight to Hickam Field, Honolulu, taking part to an observation mission of the French atmospheric nuclear tests in the Pacific. While flying in good weather conditions at an altitude of 33,000 feet and at a speed of 870 km/h, a crew member contacted ATC but the content of the message was inaudible. Five minutes later, the airplane entered a dive and crashed into the Pacific Ocean some 1,100 km southwest of Hawaii. Few debris were found floating on water and none of the 24 occupants survived the crash.
Occupants:
Donald E. Ashland,
Cpt Byron C. Burnett,
Rola F. Blanchard,
John P. Cahill,
Thomas R. Connor,
Charles V. Dito,
1st Lt James M. Gilbert,
Dean L. Hoar,
S/Sgt Kenneth Steven Kowal,
Maj John R. McGinn,
T/Sgt Hubert Miles Jr.,
Allen Moriffette,
Maj William Edward Page Jr.,
David Penney,
Lt Col Victor John Reinhart,
Cpt Perry Thomas Rose,
Col Billy L. Skipworth,
Edward M. Slagel,
Anthony J. Theriault,
John B. Tumas,
Maj william Herman Unsderfer Jr.,
Maj Joseph B. William,
S/Sgt Elno Roe Weimer.
Causes:
Due to lack of evidences, the exact cause of the accident could not be determined with certainty. However, it was reported that the aircraft was intact until impact with water surface. Also, it is believed that the recent technical modification did not have any incidence with the accident. Few days prior to the mishap, the aircraft was equipped with 11 additional portholes and a radome.