March 16, 2015 (by Asif Shamim) - Air Mobility Command released the results of its accident investigation board regarding a December 1, 2014, mid-air collision near Pope Army Airfield between a C-130H and an C-27J.
Photo of damage sustained to C-130H #88-4404 from 95 AS number 4 engine after a mid-air collision with a C-27J from Army SOC on December 1, 2014. [Photographer unknown]
assigned to the 440th Airlift Wing (Air Force Reserve Command), and the C-27J assigned to the Army Special Operations Command Flight Company, both at Pope Army Airfield, collided approximately 8 miles south of Mackall AAF, N.C. Both aircraft declared emergencies and landed safely, the C-27 at Mackall AAF and the C-130 at Pope AAF. There were no injuries to the eight C-130 crew members or the five C-27 crew members.
At the time of the incident, the C-130 was performing an escape maneuver to depart Luzon Drop Zone (DZ) following completion of a visual Container Delivery System airdrop. The C-27 was departing Laurinburg-Maxton Airport enroute to two way point DZ's for simulated airdrops.
The investigation identified several relevant human factors in the mishap: a breakdown in visual scan resulting in insufficient clearing of the aircraft flight path by both aircrews; both aircrews were over-reliant on Traffic Collision Avoidance Systems to alert them to potential traffic conflicts; and both aircrews exhibited complacency due to the routine nature of the mission profiles, despite the inherent risk associated with night, low-level visual flight rules operations on night vision goggles.
The government loss for the C-130 and associated cleanup was valued at $1,837,649.93, were as damage estimates for the C-27 are still ongoing.