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C-141 Tail Number: 65-0274

Stretched ... and naked ... ©  Paul Carter, Aug 16, 1991

©  George Miller

This aircraft was lost in an accident near LaPaz Bolivia in August, 1974.

The crew had been alerted early in the morning for a flight of over 1800 miles over mostly uninhabited jungle and limited navaids from Howard AFB Panama to John F. Kennedy Airport, LaPaz Bolivia. As they neared their destination, and based on the crew's reporting an estimated position of three minutes from the La Paz VOR, air traffic control cleared them for a descent from FL240 to FL18O.

The only navaid available was the La Paz VOR. DME and radar was not available. Area weather at the time included extensive cloud cover from 700 AGL to FL240. The last communication with the crew was as they reported, "...out of FL240 for FL180".

The aircraft impacted a 20,000 foot mountain at the 18,700 foot level, 15 NM north of the La Paz airport. Minimum sector altitude was 21,300 feet. There were no survivors among the crew of seven.

Two weeks before this accident, another C-141 flying the same route in VMC had taken evasive action to avoid the same mountain. Unfortunately, the crew had not reported the incident.

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