Preliminary Report

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Preliminary Operations Report
T 0 P S E C R E T 082056Z CITE CABLE 4559

PRIORITY [XXXXX]

OXCART

LAW CODE MESSAGE

I. THE FOLLOWING IS A SUMMARY OF THE FLIGHT AS COMPILED BY THE OPERATIONS STAFF:

AIRCRAFT 125 [XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX] WAS SCHEDULED FOR A SHADE TREE “E” WITH TAKE OFF AT 2000Z ON 5 JANUARY 1967. PURPOSE OF THE MISSION WAS TRAINING WITH PACKAGE 1-D INSTALLED. PILOT WAS ALSO BRIEFED TO GATHER PERFORMANCE DATA AS OUTLINED IN TEST PLAN 66-12.

ACTUAL TAKE OFF TIME WAS 1959Z. TOP OFF AR WAS NORMAL WITH 36,000 POUNDS ONLOAD. FIRST CLIMB, 3.1 MACH CRUISE AND 300 KEAS DESCENT WAS APPARENTLY FLOWN AS BRIEFED WITHOUT INCIDENT. SECOND AR WAS COMPLETED WITH 61,000 LBS ONLOAD BUT PILOT STATED THAT AT END AR, HE WAS 4 TO 5,000 LBS BELOW PROGRAMMED FUEL. TANKER CREW CONFIRMS THAT THEY DID NOT HAVE SUFFICIENT FUEL ON BOARD FOR FURTHER ONLOAD. PILOT CONTINUED THE MISSION KNOWING THAT CRUISE LEG COULD BE CUT SHORT BY TURNING WITH 28,300 LBS (PROGRAMMED FUEL AT PROGRAMMED TURNPOINT). PILOT APPARENTLY GAINED SUFFICIENT FUEL IN REDUCED POWER CLIMB TO MEET FUEL REQUIREMENTS FOR OUTBOUND LEG. AVAILABLE INFORMATION INDICATED THAT TURN WAS MADE AT PROGRAMMED TURN POINT. AFTER ROLLING OUT OF THE TURN, PILOT TRANSMITTED ON SSB THAT HE WAS 800 TO 1,000 LBS BELOW PROGRAMMED FUEL AND THAT THE FUEL WAS LOST IN THE TURN. HE ALSO STATED THAT HE WAS HAVING NO PROBLEMS.

THESE TRANSMISSIONS WERE RECEIVED AT APPROXIMATELY 2322Z AND COINCIDED WITH ROUTE AND FLIGHT PLAN. THE NEXT TRANSMISSION WAS AT APPROXIMATELY 2345Z. PILOT STATED “I HAVE GOT A LITTLE BIT OF A PROBLEM. I AM ABEAM FARMINGTON, I HAVE 7500 LBS. I LOST ANOTHER 1,000 LBS, I DON’T KNOW WHERE IT’S GONE. I THINK I CAN MAKE. IT.” PROGRAMMED FUEL ONLY 150 MILES BEFORE TRANSMISSION (POS 16) WAS 13,800 LBS. POSITION 16 WAS A FUEL DECISION POINT FOR ABORT INTO KIRTLAND. PROGRAMMED FUEL FOR ABEAM FARMINGTON WAS 11,000 LBS.

AT 2352Z PILOT REPORTED TO LOS ANGELES CENTER THAT HE WAS LOW ON FUEL AND AT 2353Z, PILOT DECLARED AN EMERGENCY. AT THIS TIME AIRCRAFT WAS ABEAM HANKSVILLE IN DESCENT. PROGRAMMED FUEL AT THIS POINT WAS 9,900 LBS. LOS ANGELES CENTER ALSO RECEIVED HIS CALLS PASSING 60,000 FT AT 2355:45Z AND PASSING 51,000 FT AT 2358:45Z.

COMMAND POST SSB CONTACT AT 2356:10Z. PILOT STATED AT 2356:27Z THAT HE WAS 130 MILES OUT WITH 4,200 LBS. AT 0001:34Z. PILOT STATED THAT FUEL LOW PRESSURE LIGHTS ON. BIRD WATCHER DURING THIS TIME PERIOD ALSO INDICATED LOW FUEL OUANITITY. AT 0001:59Z PILOT STATED ON SSB THAT ENGINES WERE FLAMING OUT.

PILOT CHANGED TO UHF AT APPROX 0002Z AND ESTABLISHED CONTACT WITH CHASE AIRCRAFT. CHASE HAD VISUAL CONTACT WHEN ARTICLE APPROX [XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX] AT 0003Z, ARTICLE PILOT STATED THAT BOTH ENGINES HAD FLAMED OUT AND THAT HE WAS EJECTING ON THE 100 DEGREE RADIAL OF [XXXX] TACAN. CHASE PILOT OBSERVED HEAVY ARTICLE CONTRAILS PRIOR TO FLAME OUT. CHASE ALSO OBSERVED ARTICLE TO STOP CONNING AND TO NOSE OVER SHORTLY AFTER ARTICLE PILOT’S LAST TRANSMISSION. ALTITUDE OF ARTICLE AT FLAMEOUT ESTIMATED BY CHASE PILOT TO HAVE BEEN BETWEEN 30 & 35,000 FT. CHASE PILOT DID NOT SEE THE ARTICLE PILOT EJECT BUT DID WATCH THE ARTICLE UNTIL IT ENTERED THE CLOUDS AT AN ESTIMATED 18,000 FEET IN A STEEP DIVE.


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