Here's a little extra info on the Mather AFB, Ca crash that occurred on17 Dec 82.
The aircraft was on a training mission that normally would have occurred at Castle AFB, Ca. However, there was another crash at Castle during the previous month that put the runway out of action for some time. The crews were transported 100 miles north to Mather to continue their flight training.
This incident involved two of Castle's training aircraft. They took off as a MITO (Minimum Interval Take Off) The lead aircraft was a B-52 H with TF-33 fan jet engines. The #2 aircraft was a B-52G with J-57 turbojet engines. Normally, the turbofan engine generates about 5000 pounds more thrust than the J-57 and that is why the H-Model went first. But in this instance, the G-Model was using water injection which causes the J-57 to meet or exceed the thrust of a TF-33. 1200 gals of demineralized water is injected at two points into the engines and is used up in less than to minutes. This fact was not taken into consideration during the planning of this mission as the previously explained issue rarely , if ever, actually occurred. However, in this instance it did. After liftoff, the G-Model quickly began overtaking the H-Model. To prevent collision, the student pilot retarded the throttles without giving consideration to the water injection being used. This should have not have mattered as the water injection system is supposed to cut out automatically when the throttles are reduced beyond a certain point as the engines cannot tolerate that much water at a less than optimum power setting. Due to a malfunction, the water did NOT shut off and the engines were unable tocope with it. They began flaming out. The aircraft was nearly at it's max gross weight of 250 tons and there was was not enough altitude to recover, that soon after take off.
The following is a list of the crew members involved.
Maj. JAMES H.
YORK, 43, South Bend, Ind., the aircraft
Capt. LYLE A. BRUNNER, 32, Florence, Mont., a bombardier instructor.
Capt. DENNIS E. DAVIS, Hililsboro, Ore., a navigator.
Master Sgt. GERE E. LeFEVER, 42, Conestoga, Pa., an aircraft gunner.
2nd Lt. SCOTT A. SEMMEL, 23, Levittown, Pa., a student co-pilot.
2nd Lt. PETER M. RILEY, Woonsocket, R. I., a sudent co-pilot.
2nd Lt. RICHARD P. ROBESON, JR., 27, Freeport, Ill., a student navigator.
2nd Lt. BENJAMIN C. BERNDT, 24, Norwalk, Conn., a student navigator.
2nd Lt. DANIEL N. BADER, 25, Salt Lake City, Utah, a student navigator
I knew and flew with Lyle Brunner at Fairchild AFB, WA. He was a giant Teddy Bear of a man and not a sweeter soul had ever graced the lower deck of a B-52. He was excellent at his job and therefore selected to be an instructor at Castle.
Noecker, Msgt, USAF, Retired
in email 9th December 2011