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Takhli RTAFB - Land of the King Cobra
Re: 73-74 F-111 blew up while taxing
The tail number was 67-072 It was loaded with 24 500 # bombs, The right main landing gear failed as the aircraft was taking off. I believe it was about 2:30 in the am. there was a fire from the broken hydraulic lines as the plane spun around about 1 .75 times ending up kinda perpendicular to the runway. the pilot and weapon system officer jumped out and reached safety before the first bomb went off. I think that 21 of 24 bombs exploded. all flight ops were cancelled for the rest of the nite. Like a crazy kid watching a fireworks show I just stood and watched as a piece of something flew by me and hit the side of the stepvan that the line supervisor was driving. he said that his life flashed before his eyes. had he been backed up 6ft it would have went right thru him. I then sought the relative safety of the nearest revetment. it was feb 20 1973 according to my info. as soon as it was daylight we had to go out and look for the pieces, some of which were a long way from the scene of the accident. there weren't that many large pieces left. I do not have any photos. I am not sure that taking pix of it was allowed.
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