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Air Force Investigates Deadly C-130 Crash

May 15, 1995

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (AP) _ It may take up to six months to determine what caused the crash of a C-130 Hercules transport plane in southern Idaho that killed six Air Force reservists, officials say.

An engine apparently caught fire as the plane was returning to Peterson Air Force Base near Colorado Springs Saturday after dropping off reservists and fire-fighting equipment at the National Interagency Fire Center in Boise, Idaho, the Air Force said.

Flight data recorders have been recovered, officials said Sunday.

The plane crashed about 30 miles east of Peterson Air Force Base and 80 miles southeast of Boise. The six who died were members of the 302nd Airlift Wing at Peterson.

``We knew it was in trouble from its sound. We just hoped it wasn’t going to come down on top of us,″ said Mike Thompson, who was out collecting antlers about a mile from where the plane went down.

``It came in very rapidly, straight into the ground with its engines on,″ Thompson said. ``It went down behind a bluff and we saw a great big fireball. When we got there, there wasn’t much left.″

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