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Last updated: 22 October 2021
Status:Final
Date:Sunday 29 January 1989
Time:18:47
Type:Silhouette image of generic C130 model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different
Lockheed CC-130E Hercules
Operator:Canadian Armed Forces
Registration: 130318
MSN: 4124
First flight: 1966
Total airframe hrs:3691
Crew:Fatalities: 2 / Occupants: 8
Passengers:Fatalities: 7 / Occupants: 10
Total:Fatalities: 9 / Occupants: 18
Aircraft damage: Destroyed
Aircraft fate: Written off (damaged beyond repair)
Location:Fairbanks-Fort Wainwright Airport, AK (FBK) (   United States of America)
Phase: Approach (APR)
Nature:Military
Departure airport:Edmonton-CFB, AB (YED/CYED), Canada
Destination airport:Fairbanks-Fort Wainwright Airport, AK (FBK/PAFB), United States of America
Narrative:
CC130318, callsign CANFORCE 5636, departed Canadian Forces Base Edmonton at 22:50 UTC on 29 January 1989 enroute to Fort Wainwright Army Airfield near Fairbanks, Alaska. The flight was the second of three aircraft deployed in support of Exercise Brimfrost 89. There were eight crew, ten duty passengers and a mixed cargo payload on board.
The prevailing Fairbanks area weather was dominated by a large arctic high pressure system, resulting in clear, cold air and local ice fog conditions. Temperatures were in the -50 C range on the day of the accident.
Four hours and thirty-seven minutes after departure, the crew commenced a night precision radar approach (PAR) to runway 24R at Fort Wainwright. During the final segment of the approach, the aircraft struck three approach light standards and then impacted the lip of a riverbank approximately 350 feet short of the runway threshold.
On impact the aircraft broke into three sections. The right wing separated from the fuselage and continued ahead about 850 feet from the impact point. The left wing and fuselage came to rest abeam the right wing having pivoted approximately 170 degrees to the left. Several personnel in the cargo compartment were thrown out during this sliding turn. The tail section came to rest on the runway threshold. Unable to use the forward passenger door, the flight deck crew exited through the overhead cockpit escape hatch. Fort Wainwright crash rescue crews responded to the scene.
Seven passengers and two crew members were killed while three passengers received serious injuries. The remaining six passengers and crew were admitted to hospital for overnight observation. The aircraft was destroyed by the impact.

Probable Cause:

Cause Factors:
PERSONNEL PILOT (32A) Visual illusions/limitations
As the pilot proceeded into thickening ice fog, the reduction in forward visibility caused him to advance his aim point resulting in a lower than normal approach.
PERSONNEL PILOT (32A) Expectancy
As the aircraft descended to just above the approach lights, the pilot expected to see the threshold lighting clearly. The pilot believed that the brightest lights marked the runway threshold and did not realize that these lights were actually 1,000 feet from the threshold.
PERSONNEL PILOT (32A) Judgement
The pilot elected to continue the approach to touchdown even though he was aware that the aircraft had contacted approach lights short of the intended touchdown.
PERSONNEL CO-PILOT/FIRST OFFICER Information/Communication
The entire crew failed to question the technique which was used to execute the landing and failed to initiate an overshoot call despite an abnormal approach under severely restricted visibility conditions and the subsequent collison with the approach lighting.
PERSONNEL CO-PILOT/FIRST OFFICER Judgement
When he realized the aircraft was low the co-pilot did not call for an overshoot.
PERSONNEL NAVIGATOR Information/Communication
The entire crew failed to question the technique which was used to execute the landing and failed to initiate an overshoot call despite an abnormal approach under severely restricted visibility conditions and the subsequent collison with the approach lighting.
PERSONNEL FLT. ENGR (FE) Information/Communication
The entire crew failed to question the technique which was used to execute the landing and failed to initiate an overshoot call despite an abnormal approach under severely restricted visibility conditions and the subsequent collison with the approach lighting.

Accident investigation:
cover
Investigating agency: 
Status: Investigation completed
Accident number: FSIS 69500
Download report: Final report

Sources:
» The C-130 Hercules turns 50 / by Vic Johnson. In: Air Force (Vol. 28 No.4, Winter 2004/2005)
» Aviation Week & Space Technology 6 Feb 1989


Photos

photo of Lockheed-CC-130E-Hercules-130318
accident date: 29-01-1989
type: Lockheed CC-130E Hercules
registration: 130318
photo of Lockheed-CC-130E-Hercules-130318
accident date: 29-01-1989
type: Lockheed CC-130E Hercules
registration: 130318
 

Map
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 Edmonton-CFB, AB to Fairbanks-Fort Wainwright Airport, AK as the crow flies is 2245 km (1403 miles).

This information is not presented as the Flight Safety Foundation or the Aviation Safety Network’s 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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