Preliminary Accident Reports

July 2011 Issue

May 18, 2011, Point Mugu, Calif., Boeing 707-321B

The airplane collided with terrain during takeoff at 1727 Pacific time. The airline transport pilot captain, commercial pilot first officer and flight engineer sustained minor injuries. The converted aerial refueling tanker sustained substantial damage to its wings, fuselage and empennage from impact forces and a post-crash fire. Visual conditions prevailed. At about 20 feet agl, the number two (left inboard) engine throttle lever slammed back to the idle position. The airplane stopped climbing, and the captain adjusted the pitch slightly down to hold V2 speed.

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