On January 12, 1958, the Air National Guard in Fresno, California was participating in an air defense exercise. At 1:19 in the afternoon, sixteen F-86As were scrambled from the base, located at the Fresno Air Terminal. Captain William P. Mailloux, age 31 was Flight Leader of a flight of four aircraft. He was flying a F-86A-7, serial number 48-0168. He had accumulated more than 1,551 hours flying time to date.
After successfully completing their intercept mission, Captain Mailloux regrouped the flight for the return to base. They were on an IFR Flight Plan and were given an IFR Jet Penetration clearance to Fresno Air Terminal. After passing over the ILS/LOM (Outer Marker) outbound at 20,000 feet, Captain Mailloux ordered the flight to separate into two elements of two aircraft each. He and his wing man were to land first, so they continued the approach.
While inbound, and over the Outer Marker, the controller ordered the element to break off the approach due to conflicting traffic. Captain Mailloux and his wing man turned to the right and began a climb to stay clear of the traffic. When he tried to raise the landing gear, they would not come up because of the increased speed. He advised his wing man of the problem, then reduced his speed and recycled the gear. This time they came up normally.
By that time they were at 8,000 feet, and just passing over Pine Flat Reservoir, 22 nm miles to the east of Fresno. With the wing man in loose trail, Captain Mailloux made his last radio transmission. He called for a power increase to 90%.
You'll read the full story of this accident in the new book "Aircraft Wrecks in The Mountains and Deserts of California", (3rd edition), by G. Pat Macha and Don R. Jordan. The pictures brought back from the scene of this accident are truly amazing. It appeared that our team was the first to visit the site since the accident occurred in 1958.
This new book is now available from
the authors, Info Net Publishing, and at all
retail book stores.
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