C-17 and Tanker Collide: The commander of Hickam AFB, Hawaii, Col. William J. Changose was piloting a C-17 when the airlifter and a Hawaii Air National Guard KC-135 tanker collided during refueling training some 200 miles off the island of Oahu. A Dec. 28 Honolulu Advertiser report stated the accident took place Dec. 22 at 10:30 p.m. Both aircraft landed safely, but officials acknowledged there was some damage to the tanker’s boom and tail section. The airlifter was on loan to Hickam, which doesn’t get its first C-17 until February (see below). Until the Air Force completes its accident investigation, officials would not say which aircraft was at fault. Just for the record, Changose is a veteran C-17 pilot, selected for the initial cadre of pilots for the new airlifter. He also served as a C-17 instructor pilot.
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