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Last updated: 1 December 2021
Date:Wednesday 14 September 1977
Type:Silhouette image of generic C135 model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different
Boeing EC-135K
Operator:United States Air Force - USAF
Registration: 62-3536
MSN: 18519/587
First flight: 1963-02-27 (14 years 7 months)
Total airframe hrs:7307
Engines: 4 Pratt & Whitney TF33-PW-102
Crew:Fatalities: 20 / Occupants: 20
Passengers:Fatalities: 0 / Occupants: 0
Total:Fatalities: 20 / Occupants: 20
Aircraft damage: Damaged beyond repair
Location:8 km (5 mls) E of Albuquerque-Kirtland AFB, NM (   United States of America)
Phase: Initial climb (ICL)
Departure airport:Albuquerque-Kirtland AFB, NM (KIKR), United States of America
Destination airport:Las Vegas-Nellis AFB, NV (LSV/KLSV), United States of America
Crashed in steep terrain during a night time climb out of Kirtland Air Force Base. The aircraft struck a peak in the Manzano Mountains, about 10 meters below the summit.

Controlled Flight Into Terrain (CFIT) - Mountain

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


photo of Boeing-EC-135K-62-3536
accident date: 14-09-1977
type: Boeing EC-135K
registration: 62-3536

This map shows the airport of departure and the intended destination of the flight. The line between the airports does not display the exact flight path.
Distance from Albuquerque-Kirtland AFB, NM to Las Vegas-Nellis AFB, NV as the crow flies is 768 km (480 miles).
Accident location: Approximate; accuracy within a few kilometers.

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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Boeing C-135

  • 820 built
  • 54th loss
  • 43rd fatal accident
  • 6th worst accident (at the time)
  • 8th worst accident (currently)
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