April 18, 1995



Eight people were killed when an Air Force C-21 Learjet crashed into a wooded area near Alexander City, Alabama., at about 6:30 p.m. CST April 17.

The aircraft, assigned to the 332nd Airlift Flight, Randolph AFB, Texas, was flying from Andrews AFB, Maryland, to Randolph, but was diverting to Maxwell AFB, Alabama, after experiencing an in-flight emergency.

Killed in the accident were: Clark G. Fiester, assistant secretary of the Air Force for acquisition; Colonel Jack Clark II, West Fork, Ark., military assistant to Mr. Fiester; Major General Glenn A Profitt II, West Lafayette, Ind., director of plans and operations, Air Education and Training Command, Randolph AFB, Texas; Major Hubert B. Fisher, Birmingham, Ala., assigned to the Air Force's Deputy Chief of Staff for Command, Control, Communications and Computers, the Pentagon; Captain Paul Carey, Leavenworth Kan., instructor pilot; and 1st Lt. Paul M. Bowers, Fort Worth, Texas, aircraft commander both assigned to the 332nd Airlift Flight; Maj. James K. Horne (USAF retired); and a U.S. Army sergeant. Army officials have not released the soldier's name pending notification of next of kin.

Horn and the Army sergeant were traveling as space available passengers.

Fiester and his official party were on their way to Brooks AFB, Texas, to present an acquisition reform briefing to personnel at the Human Systems Center at Brooks.

"We are deeply saddened by the loss of the eight people who perished in the C-21 accident in Alabama," said Secretary of the Air Force Sheila E. Widnall and General Ronald R. Fogleman, Air Force chief of staff, in a joint statement. "Two of the Air Force's senior leaders were aboard the plane -- Clark G. Fiester and Major General Glenn A. Profitt II -- we are grateful for their contributions to our nation and those of the other passengers and crew aboard the aircraft."

As assistant secretary for acquisition, Fiester was responsible for Air Force research, development and acquisition activities. An experienced manager of electronic defense system organization, he had 38 years experience in design and development of advanced intelligence, electronic countermeasures and imagery systems. He is survived by his wife, Christine, and their two children.

Profitt, a command pilot with more than 6,000 flying hours, began his Air Force career in 1965. He was responsible for developing and implementing operational plans, programs and policies for AETC undergraduate flying training, EURO-NATO Joint Jet Pilot Training, survival training and combat crew training for fighters, airlift, tankers, and special operations crews.

The C-21 has been in the Air Force inventory in 1984 and there are presently 80 aircraft in the fleet. The only other Air Force C-21 crash occurred in January 1987, also near Maxwell.

The last Air Force general officer killed in an aircraft accident was Major General Winfield S. Harpe, 16th Air Force commander, who died in an F-16 near Torrejon Air Base, Spain, in December 1988.

An Air Force board has been appointed to investigate the cause of the crash.