Transcribed from the Youngstown Vindicator, Youngstown, OH, June 18, 1971, p. 11:

Don’t Place Blame for 2-Jet Crash


LOS ANGELES (AP) — Federal investigators say the tail and right wing of a Marine F4 Phantom jet fighter slashed through the cockpit and front of the passenger section of a Hughes Air West DC9 jetliner in a crash near Los Angeles in which 50 persons died.

But, said George Baker, who heads the National Transportation Safety Board investigation, “I’m not saying who hit who, only that those areas were apparently the ones that impacted together.”

The sole survivor of the June 6 crash, Marine 1st Lt. Christopher Schiess, the Phantom’s radar intercept officer, has said, “the airliner hit us.”

Fighter Cuts Airliner

Asked if there were entry and exit markings indicating the tail and wing of the fighter had cut through the airliner, Baker answered Wednesday, “Yes.”

Baker also said the Phantom’s transponder, an electronic device that magnifies the radar blip an aircraft makes and gives it a distinct identity on the screen of air controllers, was not in operating condition at the time of the crash.