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C-5 mishap Accident Investigation Board results
Col. Raymond Torres, Accident Investigation Board president and commandant of the Air Force Expeditionary Air Operations School at McGuire Air Force Base, N.J., briefs local and national media about the AIB results at The Landings Club here Tuesday. (Photo by Jason Minto)
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C-5 accident investigation board complete

Posted 6/16/2006   Updated 6/22/2006 Email story   Print story


by Master Sgt. Steve Marciniak
436th Airlift Wing Public Affairs

6/16/2006 - DOVER AIR FORCE BASE, Del. -- The results of an investigation into the C-5 Galaxy crash April 3 here found that human error was the cause, Air Mobility Command officials released Tuesday.

The results were briefed at the Landings Club to representatives of Delaware's congressional delegation, local elected and civic leaders, and to members of the press by Col. Raymond Torres, Accident Investigation Board president and commandant of the Air Force Expeditionary Air Operations School at McGuire Air Force Base, N.J.

The accident investigation board determined the pilots and flight engineers did not properly configure, maneuver and power the aircraft during approach and landing.

Following a normal takeoff and initial climb, the C-5 aircrew observed a No. 2 engine "Thrust Reverser Not Locked" indication light. Following procedure they shut down the No. 2 engine as a precaution and returned to Dover AFB.

The board determined that during the return to the base:

-- The pilots and flight engineers continued to use the shut-down No. 2 engine's throttle while leaving the fully-operational No. 3 engine in idle.

"The (AIB) performed numerous C-5B simulator flights using similar weather and aircraft conditions as the mishap flight," said Colonel Torres. "Utilizing the number three fully-operational engine as late as 300 feet above the ground, during the same approach flown by the mishap crew, resulted in a safe final approach and landing."

-- Both instructor and primary flight engineers failed to brief the crew, and pilots failed to consider and use a proper flap setting.

"At the mishap aircraft weight, speed, altitude and position, this selection of full flaps was premature," according to Colonel Torres.

-- The pilots' attempt at a visual approach to runway 32 resulted in the aircraft descending well below a normal glidepath for an instrument-aided approach or the normal visual flight rules pattern altitude.

"A normal glidepath would have been approximately 900 feet at three miles, 500 feet at 1.8 miles and 300 feet at one mile. The mishap aircraft was 500 feet at three miles, 300 feet at 1.8 miles and 150 feet at one mile," the colonel said.

Additionally, the aircraft commander failed to give a complete approach briefing that would have included non-standard factors, configuration, landing distance and missed approach intentions. While this was not considered a cause, it was determined to be a contributing factor to this mishap by the board.

"Had a full briefing occurred, it is possible the other pilots or flight engineers would have further discussed these factors, leading to a safe return to Dover AFB," said Colonel Torres.

All 17 people on board the C-5 survived the crash, but three crewmembers were seriously injured when the aircraft stalled, hit a utility pole and crashed into a field about a mile short of the runway. The other passengers and crewmembers sustained minor injures and were treated and released from local hospitals.

The aircraft was bound for Ramstein Air Base, Germany, and was carrying 105,000 pounds of replenishment supplies for the U.S. Central Command area of responsibility.

Command authorities will review the findings of the accident investigation board to determine what, if any, disciplinary actions will be taken.

(Compiled from staff and AMC News Service reports)

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