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Accident description
Last updated: 24 October 2017
Status:Final
Date:Tuesday 16 April 1968
Time:09:00
Type:Silhouette image of generic C123 model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different
Fairchild C-123K Provider
Operator:United States Air Force - USAF
Registration: 54-0602
C/n / msn: 20051
First flight:
Crew:Fatalities: 4 / Occupants: 4
Passengers:Fatalities: 0 / Occupants: 0
Total:Fatalities: 4 / Occupants: 4
Airplane damage: Damaged beyond repair
Location:46 km (28.8 mls) NW of Panama City, FL (   United States of America)
Phase: En route (ENR)
Nature:Military
Departure airport:Hurlburt Field, FL (KHRT), United States of America
Destination airport:Hurlburt Field, FL (KHRT), United States of America
Narrative:
On 16 April 1968, 08:00 CST, C-123K, sn 54-0602 (Call sign MOOSE 09) departed Hurlburt Field, FL, as lead aircraft in a flight of three C-123's. The assigned mission was a routine SEA serial spray training flight. The formation proceeded to a point 25 nm northwest of Panama City, Florida (the designated spray training area), arriving there at 08:35 CST.
At this time a series of simulated defoliation runs were conducted over an open field. At approximately 08:50 CST Aircraft 54-0602 assumed the number three position in a right echelon formation for practice defoliation runs along a series of roads. At the completion of the first run the lead aircraft gave a command to place the aircraft in a "piggy back" formation, then climbed from 150 feet AGL to approximately 300 feet AGL and executed a 270 degree turn to the right. While in this turn the Number Three aircraft contacted the ground in a left wing low position, cartwheeled, immediately caught fire and was destroyed. The instructor pilot, two student pilots, and the flight engineer sustained fatal injuries.

Sources:
» USAF accident/incident report dated 8 May 1968
» E-mail Kevin Woolterton 14-3-2008


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