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Letters to the Editor

Thu., Dec. 27, 2012, midnight

Don’t endanger Fairchild mission

I have read Col. Brian Newberry’s comments in the Dec. 9 Round Table on the JLUS problem around Fairchild AFB and I could not agree with him more. I came to Fairchild in 1957 as my first Air Force assignment and have come to respect its service to the community.

The recent developments and proposed additions in the area could present serious problems if there was an accident, as occurred in the late 1950s, with the collision of two B-52s that were practicing landing approaches. They collided over central Airway Heights and crashed to the ground just west of Highway 2. Most of the wreckage fell where there were no buildings, just behind a gas station. No survivors, but no casualties to the ground. Anybody remember?

I spent the next several days picking up pieces of planes and crew. There is now an apartment house where the wreckage fell, behind the gas station. Should such an accident occur today, in that area or the area northwest of the runway – we hope not – the recent developments could result in lots of casualties. Is it worth the gamble?

Do we want to continue to support the Air Force refueling mission and the training it requires?

LeRoy Nielsen


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