Private Tanker Crashes In California

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Three crew somehow escaped serious injury when their fully loaded Boeing 707 tanker crashed and burned on takeoff from NAS Point Mugu in California late Wednesday afternoon. The airframe is obviously a writeoff. The aircraft was one of two 707-300 passenger aircraft converted to tankers owned by Omega Air Refueling, which has been contracted to the Navy and the Marines for inflight refueling for seven years. The company also has a DC-10-40 converted to a flying filling station.

The crash occurred about 5:25 p.m. on Wednesday and pictures from the scene showed the aircraft in pieces at the end of the runway and close to the ocean. The aircraft was reportedly carrying 150,000 pounds of fuel and that fed a furious fire. Details of the crew's escape will undoubtedly emerge shortly, and AVweb will keep you posted.