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Accident description
Last updated: 1 December 2015
Date:Monday 25 February 1985
Type:Boeing RC-135T
Operator:United States Air Force - USAF
Registration: 55-3121
C/n / msn: 17237/4
First flight: 1957-03-07 (27 years 12 months)
Total airframe hrs:15072
Engines: 4 Pratt & Whitney TF33-PW-102
Crew:Fatalities: 3 / Occupants: 3
Passengers:Fatalities: 0 / Occupants: 0
Total:Fatalities: 3 / Occupants: 3
Airplane damage: Damaged beyond repair
Location:near Valdez Municipal Airport, AK (VDZ) (   United States of America)
Phase: En route (ENR)
Departure airport:Fairbanks-Eielson AFB, AK (EIL/PAEI), United States of America
Destination airport:Fairbanks-Eielson AFB, AK (EIL/PAEI), United States of America
Weather at Valdez Municipal Airport, AK (VDZ) was very poor. Boeing RC-135T, call sign Mary 24, approached the airport for some practice MLS approaches. The first two approaches were uneventful. The third approach was commenced some four miles (6,4 km) north of the prescribed MLS inbound course. The crew descended until the airplane flew into the side of a mountain. The wreckage was not located until August 2, 1985.
The crew had used an approach procedure certified for de Havilland Canada DHC-7, a STOL airplane. The glide slope and missed approach for this airplane are significantly steeper than those for an RC-135 jet.

Controlled Flight Into Terrain (CFIT) - Mountain

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This map shows the airport of departure and the intended destination of the flight. The line between the airports does not display the exact flight path.
Distance from Fairbanks-Eielson AFB, AK to Fairbanks-Eielson AFB, AK as the crow flies is NAN km (NAN miles).

This information is not presented as the Flight Safety Foundation or the Aviation Safety Networkĺs opinion as to the cause of the accident. It is preliminary and is based on the facts as they are known at this time.
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