|Daily Herald, Chicago, Illinois - March 14, 1982
Perryville, Arizona (UPI) -- A national guard air tanker and a single-engine plane
collided in-flight and crashed west of Phoenix Saturday, killing six people aboard the two
aircraft. Cpl. Kenneth Shauinger of the Maricopa County sheriff's office said no one
aboard the planes survived. No one on the ground was injured. Arizona Air
National Guard officials identified the four men aboard the KC-135 cargo plane as:
Lt. Col. TED L. BEAM, 40, of Scottsdale, the plane's navigator.
Lt. Col. JAMES FLOOR, 53, of Paradise Valley, the plane's pilot and
commander of the 197th squadron.
Major TRUMAN R. YOUNG, JR., 40, of Mesa, an assistant U. S. attorney
Tech. Sgt. DONALD PLOUGH, 47, of Mesa, a Salt River Project employee.
Donald Bender, an air guard spokesman, said BEAM and FLOOR were full-time civilian
employees of the air guard. YOUNG, JR., was a weekend pilot. The two people
aboard the single-engine Grumman Yankee were identified as:
JAMES BRESHEARS, 48, Livermore, Calif.
KENNETH GURTZ, 36, Pleasanton, Calif.
Witnesses on the ground said the crew of the military tanker appeared to see
the single-engine Grumman moments before impact and banked hard to the left. The
smaller plane crashed into the nose of the air tanker, causing an in-flight explosion that
scattered debris over a half-mile area. A 25-foot long piece of the plane's tail
section landed within a few feet of a water tank at the new medium-security state prison
that opened earlier this year. Corrections Department spokesman John Turner said no
prison facilities were damaged. Prison officials suspended visiting privileges at
the facility and cordoned off the area.
Deputy Roy Seebert was on patrol in the area about 10:50 a.m. MST and saw the
military aircraft plunge to the ground. "He saw a military jet totally involved
in flames come out of the clouds, accompanied by a large amount of debris," Shauinger
said. The two planes apparently were traveling below cloud level at an altitude of
about 1,200 feet.
Shortly after the crash, there were reports that two parachutes had been seen
in the area. But, Shauinger said, investigators found no trace of the reported
chutes. He added that it would not be easy for people to parachute from the cargo
The military craft was stationed at Air National Guard headquarters at Phoenix
Sky Harbor International Airport and apparently was en route to Lake Air Force Base, about
seven miles northeast of the crash site.