X Plane 1972

1972 Sacramento Canadair Sabre accident
A North American F-86 Sabre similar to the aircraft that crashed
Accident
DateSeptember 24, 1972
SummaryPilot error
SiteSacramento Executive Airport, Sacramento, California, U.S.
38°31′16″N121°29′57″W / 38.52111°N 121.49917°W
Total fatalities22
Total injuries29
Aircraft
Aircraft typeCanadair Sabre Mk 5
OperatorSpectrum Air
RegistrationN275X
Flight originSacramento Executive Airport
DestinationOakland International Airport
Occupants1
Passengers0
Crew1
Injuries1
Survivors1
Ground casualties
Ground fatalities22
Ground injuries28

On September 24, 1972, a privately owned Canadair Sabre Mk. 5 jet, piloted by Richard Bingham, failed to take off while leaving the 'Golden West Sport Aviation Air Show' at Sacramento Executive Airport in Sacramento, California, United States. The airplane crashed into a Farrell's Ice Cream Parlor. Twenty-two people died and 28 were injured.[1]

Accident[edit]

The Canadair Sabre failed to gain sufficient altitude upon takeoff, with eyewitnesses suggesting the nose was over-rotated. The F-86 Sabre has a dangerous and often fatal handling characteristic upon takeoff if the nose is raised prematurely from the runway. This handling characteristic of the F-86 was acknowledged from the early 1950s.[2]

Plane

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The aircraft over-ran the runway, struck an earthen berm, and ripped through a chain link fence. Two external underwing fuel tanks ruptured and ignited upon impact with the fence, creating a massive fireball. The plane continued across Freeport Boulevard, crashing into a moving car, and struck at 150 miles per hour (240 km/h) a local Farrell's Ice Cream Parlor at approximately 4:25 pm.[3] The parlor was occupied in part by the Sacramento 49ers junior football team.[4]

X Plane 1972 Full

Twenty-two people died, including 12 children. An eight-year-old survivor of the accident lost nine family members: both parents, two brothers, a sister, two grandparents and two cousins. A family of four also died in the accident. Two people were killed in the car struck on Freeport Boulevard. Immediately after the crash an elderly couple trying to cross the street to the crash site were struck by a vehicle, killing the wife.[5] The crash could have claimed many more lives if the external fuel tanks had not ruptured prior to impact, or if the jet had not been slowed by hitting the moving car and other vehicles parked in front of the restaurant. Bingham, the pilot, suffered a broken leg and broken arm.[6]

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Aircraft[edit]

The Canadair Sabre was a single-engine jet fighter built for the Royal Canadian Air Force in 1959. This Sabre was withdrawn from service in 1961 and placed in long-term storage. It was sold as surplus in the United States in 1971 and was bought by Spectrum Air, Inc., of Novato, California, in the same year.[1]

Aftermath[edit]

The National Transportation Safety Board concluded that the accident was a result of pilot error due to lack of experience on the jet. Bingham had logged fewer than four hours flying time in the Sabre. The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) modified the rules governing the flight of ex-military jets over densely populated areas, and mandated clearance for such flights.[7] Pilot requirements were also tightened: they would require a checkout by the manufacturer or military, and take-offs and landings would have to be observed by an FAA inspector to confirm proficiency.[7]

The Firefighters Burn Institute was instituted a year after the crash, funded from donations given to local firefighters.[6]

Memorial[edit]

In 2002, a memorial was built at the site of the accident and dedicated in March 2003. It consists of: a rose garden with two benches, a fountain, a concrete marker and two metal plaques with the names of those who died.[6]

In 2012, a service to commemorate the 40th anniversary was held to remember the victims of the accident.[6]

References[edit]

  1. ^ ab'Aircraft Accident Report Spectrum Air, Inc. Sabre Mark 5, N275X'(PDF). National Transportation Safety Board. March 28, 1973. Retrieved July 25, 2017.CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  2. ^Hoover, R.A. 'Bob' (1997). Forever Flying : Fifty Years of High-Flying Adventures, from Barnstorming in Prop Planes to Dogfighting Germans to Testing Supersonic Jets : an autobiography : with Mark Shaw : foreword by Chuck Yeager. New York: Pocket Books. pp. 184. ISBN0-671-53761-X.
  3. ^Bizjak, Tony (April 1, 2002). 'After 30 years, a Farrell's healing'. Sacramento Bee. Archived from the original on January 12, 2014. Retrieved January 12, 2014.CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  4. ^Magagnini, Stephen (December 31, 1999). 'Farrell's disaster claimed 22 lives'. Sacramento Bee. Archived from the original on January 12, 2014. Retrieved January 12, 2014.CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  5. ^'The Crash at Farrell's Ice Cream Parlor in Sacramento, CA – September 24, 1972'. Check Six. 2002. Retrieved January 12, 2014.CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  6. ^ abcdPierleoni, Alan (September 24, 2012). 'Somber event recalls Farrell's jet-crash disaster'. Sacramento Bee. Archived from the original on January 12, 2014. Retrieved January 12, 2014.CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  7. ^ abHarbour, Mike (September 24, 2012). 'Farrell's Crash Remembered 40 Years Later'. Flight Journal. Archived from the original on February 22, 2014. Retrieved January 12, 2014.CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)

External links[edit]

X Plane 1972 Trailer

X plane 1972 movie
  • Photo gallery of the accident in The Sacramento Bee
  • NTSB Aircraft Accident Report (archive)

X Plane 1972 Movie

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