Transcribed from The Bryan Times, Bryan, OH, June 10, 1971, p. 10:
Survivor says jet fighter was ‘stunting’
DUARTE, Calif. (UPI) — One monute [sic] before a Marine jet fighter and a commercial airliner collided in flight killing 50 persons near here, the military craft executed a 360-degree roll, the sole survivor of the collision told investigators Wednesday.
Brad Dunbar, spokesman for the National Transportation Safety Board team investigating Sunday’s collision, reported that Marine Lt. Christopher Scheiss, 24, radar officer of the craft who parachuted to safety, said the roll was performed at about 15,500 feet.
Dunbar said Schiess’ full statement would not be released. No other deatails were disclosed.
The collision occurred at about 12,000 feet in a much-traveled air corridor used by commercial flights out of Los Angeles International Airport. The Air West DC9 was being controlled by radar while the Phantom F4 fighter bomber was on a “see and be seen” or visual flight operation.
Maj. Michael Fibisch, public affairs officer at El Toro Marine Air Station where the crashed fighter was based, declined to remark on Schiess’ statement.
However, he did say that aerial acrobatics, such as a 360-degree roll, in commercial air corridors are “definetely not” permissible.