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Last updated: 19 September 2021
Datum:Mittwoch 20 April 2005
Flugzeugtyp:Silhouette image of generic P3 model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different
Lockheed P-3B Orion
Fluggesellschaft:Aero Union
Kennzeichen: N926AU
Werknummer: 185-5171
Baujahr: 1966
Triebwerk: 4 Allison T56-A10W
Besatzung:Todesopfer: 3 / Insassen: 3
Fluggäste:Todesopfer: 0 / Insassen: 0
Gesamt:Todesopfer: 3 / Insassen: 3
Sachschaden: Zerstört
Konsequenzen: Written off (damaged beyond repair)
Unfallort:22 km (13.8 Meilen) of Chico, CA (   USA)
Flugphase: Während des Fluges (ENR)
Flug von:Chico Airport, CA (CIC/KCIC), USA
Flug nach:Chico Airport, CA (CIC/KCIC), USA
The tanker aircraft had taken off from Chico qualification check flight for pilots who were scheduled to conduct firefighting operations during the upcoming fire season. The accident flight involved conducting practice drops of water over an area of rugged mountainous terrain located north of the Chico Airport. Prior to departing on the flight, the airplane was loaded with 2,550 gallons of water.
The Orion crashed and caught fire immediately following the training drop in the rugged terrain of the Lassen National Forest.

Probable Cause:

PROBABLE CAUSE: "Terrain clearance was not maintained while maneuvering for undetermined reasons. Mountainous terrain was a factor."

Accident investigation:
Investigating agency: NTSB
Status: Investigation completed
Duration: 1 year and 4 months
Accident number: SEA05MA085
Download report: Summary report

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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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