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Serviceman Complained of Plane Problems Before Fatal Crash

October 16, 1986

TUCSON, Ariz. (AP) _ An Air Force officer complained in a letter to his brother about mechanical problems with his fighter jet just weeks before he was among two servicemen killed in a plane crash, the brother said.

First Lt. Michael B. Segura, 24, of Tucson, was killed Monday when an RF-4C Phantom jet crashed into a hangar at Osan Air Base in South Korea.

L. Nicholas Segura, 21, said his brother, a weapons control officer on the plane, complained in a letter last month about mechanical problems with his aircraft.

He wrote, ″it’s a bummer, dude, - not much flying lately. The last two times I have, the ... plane has filled with smoke″ or there have been other problems, Nicholas Segura said.

Major Robert S. Barca, a spokesman for the Pacific air command at Hickham Air Force Base in Honululu, said he was unaware of the letter, and couldn’t make any comment about it, including whether it referred to the plane that crashed.

Barca said an investigation into what caused the crash was being conducted by a board of officers. An Air Force official at the Pentagon added that maintenance history would be part of the investigation.

Segura was assigned to the 15th Tactical Reconnaissance Squadron, Kadena Air Base on Okinawa, Japan, but made frequent reconnaissance flights from the South Korean air base, said his mother, Elaine Segura.

She said Air Force officials had told her that her son was on a reconnaissance flight when the crash occurred.

Also killed in the two-man plane was the pilot, 1st Lt. Christopher G. Bole, 24, of Houston.