B-707 lost in training accident

A Boeing 707-368C of Richmond-based No 33 Squadron was lost on this day in a training accident off the Gippsland coast of Victoria. The aircraft (A20-103) was one of six former civil airliners operated by the RAAF for VIP and long-distance military transport, and also for inflight refuelling of F/A-18 Hornet fighters. While three kilometres from Woodside Beach, 43 kilometres south of RAAF Base East Sale, the aircraft stalled and crashed into the sea, killing all five men on board. A board of inquiry concluded that the crew was controversially carrying out an asymmetric handling exercise when the aircraft made a sudden and violent departure from controlled flight. A subsequent coronial inquest also identified systemic failures relating to a deficiency of documentation, inadequate research into the operating characteristics of the aircraft and a lack of sufficient training in the types of manoeuvre which resulted in the accident.

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