Transcribed from The Gettysburg Times, Gettysburg, PA, June 21, 1971, p. 9:

Tighten Rules On Military Plane Flights

Associated Press Writer


WASHINGTON (AP) — Military pilots, involved in one of every four near-misses with other planes, will fly under civilian direction more often in the wake of a 50-death crash of a Marine jet and an airliner.

The Federal Aviation Administration said Friday the armed services agreed to its request to cut down on the number of fixed-wing military aircraft operating under the rule of “see and be seen.”

In the future, the FAA said, all military administrative and cross-country flights and some flights to and from military bases will be operated under instrument flight rules whenever possible.

That would put them under direction of FAA air-traffic controllers based at civilian airport towers, and require military pilots to file flight plans.

A Marine F4 Phantom jet was flying by visual rules when it collided June 6 with an Air West DC9 over the San Gabriel Mountains near Los Angeles. Killed were 44 passengers and five crew members aboard the DC9 and the F4 pilot.

The only survivor of that crash, a radar officer aboard the military plane, said he saw the approaching jetliner and shouted a warning to his pilot just seconds before the crash. The radar officer parachuted to safety.

The FAA said its radar watchers had been tracking the DC9 after takeoff from Los Angels [sic] for Salt Lake City, but did not see on their screens the military jet en route from Nevada to Santa Ana, Calif., on a low-level navigational training flight.