1973 NASA Accident at Moffett Field
On April 12, 1973, NASA N711NA collided with USN P-3C Orion 157332. The Orion was flying touch-and-goes for over an hour, while the CV-990 was testing equipment over Monterey. The Convair was cleared for a straight in approach for 32R while the Orion was making left traffic to 32L. Without explanation, the controller cleared the Convair for 32L, which then the CV-990's nose gear collided with the fuselage and tail of the Orion. Both aircraft crashed half a mile short of the airport, killing all but one on the Orion, the survivor was Petty Officer Third Class Bruce N. Mallibert of Bakersfield. Shortly after the crash a golfer attempted to break one of the cockpit windows in order to rescue the pilot however was forced to leave due to explosions. The image to the left was taken by Richard Silagi shortly after the accident.
Text by Andy Payne