11/1/1980

A1C Blaine J. Meyer, SMSgt Gerald J. Stryzak, and SrA Raymond J. Bianchi II were killed on 12 November 1980. They were assigned to the 27th Equipment Maintenance Squadron, Cannon Air Force Base, New Mexico. They perished when their Lockheed C-141B Starlifter (Tail Number: 67-0030) aircraft crashed in a night landing (2353 hours) during a 12-day tactical response deployment in Cairo-West Air Base, Egypt. The plane crashed 3.1 miles from Cairo-West Air Base. The crew decided to go around. A visual traffic pattern was flown at an altitude of 2,000 feet. Over the dark desert terrain the crew commenced the turn to finals. Bank and rate of descent increased rapidly until the airplane impacted terrain. The plane was taking part in a two-day airlift in which 1,400 members of the Rapid Deployment Force and their equipment have been ferried to Egypt’s largest air base from Fort Benning, Georgia. The airlift was completed this morning a few hours after the crash. The purpose of the operation, according to the Egyptian Chief of Staff, General Said Abu-Ghazala, “was to familiarize themselves with the terrain and the weather conditions in Egypt, which are similar to those in the Gulf and Arabian Peninsula where the Americans will have to operate if they are asked by the states of the region.” Ten other Air Force personnel (six crew and seven passengers total) on the aircraft were also killed.

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