C-130 News

C-130 Hercules News

Georgia Guard C-130 accident report released

November 19, 2020 (by Asif Shamim) - On 8 June 2020, at approximately 22:05 hours local time, C-130H #94-6706, was involved in a mishap during a routine mobility airlift mission from Ali Al Salem Air Base, Kuwait, into Al Taji (Camp Taji), Iraq, when it failed to come to a stop during landing, overran the runway, and impacted a concrete barrier.

All 26 crew members and passengers survived the mishap, with relatively minor injuries to two of the individuals. The aircraft was damaged beyond repair, and was valued at $35,900,000.

The C-130 was from the 165th Airlift Wing, Georgia Air National Guard, was manned with Wyoming ANG crew members deployed from the 153d Airlift Wing, and assigned to the 386th Air Expeditionary Wing at Ali Al Salem Air Base, Kuwait.

After cruising for approximately 59 minutes, the aircraft began its descent into Camp Taji, Iraq. During descent, the crew leveled off at 3,700 feet mean sea level and reduced throttles to flight idle. The copilot slowed and configured the C-130 for a night vision goggle approach and landing with flaps set to 100 percent. The aircraft's highest recorded airspeed during this approach was 157 Knots indicated air speed, although the maximum recommended airspeed with the wing flaps set to 100 percent is 145 Knots. At approximately two nautical miles from the airfield, the C-130 was 1,000 feet above the recommended glideslope for runway 34 and at 150 Knots, and remained above glideslope until landing. The reported tailwind for runway 34 at Camp Taji was 10 knots, with a temperature of 34 degrees Celsius. The GPS recorded data indicated the aircraft crossed the runway 34 threshold at a ground speed of 161 knots; the recommended calculated landing velocity for the aircraft at its weight (122,000 pounds) was 105 knots.

The crew attempted to land at an higher than optimal speed with a nosedown attitude. The excessive air speed continued to generate lift and caused the C-130 it to "porpoise" or

oscillate upon touchdown, which prevented the braking system from engaging due to a lack of proper weight on the wheels. Thirteen seconds after touchdown--eight seconds of which were spent "porpoising"-- the aircraft began to slow as expected, once the engines were placed in reverse and when the wheels then received adequate weight to engage the anti-skid brakes.

However, by that point there was insufficient runway remaining (less than 1,000 feet) and the aircraft departed the prepared surface, whereupon it came to a stop only when it struck a 12-foot-high concrete barrier approximately 600 feet past the end of the runway, at approximately 22:05hrs.

All 26 individuals onboard the aircraft survived the mishap and egressed, with only relatively minor injuries to two individuals. The aircraft was damaged beyond repair and was written off.

The findings from the accident board said the cause of the mishap was the aircraft's excess airspeed of 38 knots above calculated landing velocity, combined with its excess descent angle. This excess airspeed caused the C-130 to maintain lift (flight) and did not provide sufficient weight on wheels to allow for braking action to occur until the aircraft slowed enough to settle onto the runway.

Additionally, the aircrew's failure to adequately assess risk, failure to follow proper procedures, and poor communication were all substantially contributing factors to this mishap. The crew failed to recognize, and appropriately respond to or correct the excess airspeed on the approach, or to take control of the aircraft and call for/conduct a go-around once the approach and landing was deemed untenable.