On January 16, 1965, tragedy struck a north east Wichita neighborhood. A KC-135 tanker full of fuel from McConnell Air Force Base crashed just south of 21st & Piatt killing 30 people. This video includes recollections from a woman who saw firsthand the violent crash, the chaos that followed and how the quiet neighborhood was changed forever. You'll also hear from others who lost family in the crash and look at the effort to get a memorial on the site decades after the crash.
This month marks 50 years since the city’s worst aviation disaster unfolded. KPTS has spent months working on special reports
remembering that day and capturing the stories from those who lived the experience and witnessed the tragedy firsthand. We will begin sharing these historic accounts with you January 8th. The series of reports will culminate in a one-hour special on Channel 8, airing the day before the anniversary of the disaster, January 15th at 8pm. The special includes never before heard accounts from the widow of one of the pilots of the plane, along with witness accounts and historians who put rumors to rest about what caused the crash and set the record straight once and for all. This is groundbreaking, locally produced, in-depth coverage of this historical event.