16 June 2012

28th December 1971

VV HL890 45n 20w 1015 F200 40n 23w 1137

U S Navy EC-130G TACAMO II/III, 151890

This aircraft was soon to be written-off, on 15th January 1972, with no fatalities near Patuxent River NAS, MD. The Hercules had flown for over three months with a maintenance discrepancy on the number one fuel tank quantity indicator. Before the mishap flight, another attempt was made to repair the solder connections in the cannon plug. Maintenance personnel were unable to satisfactorily complete the repair in the time available before that days flight. They hurriedly reassembled the cannon plug and verbally warned the oncoming flight engineer to leave the number one fuel tank quantity indicator system circuit breaker out to prevent the indicator motor from running and ruining the internal clutch. The aircraft then flew four flights prior to the accident. The verbal warning was passed between flight engineers, except on the fourth flight. While conducting preflight procedures the fourth flight engineer noticed the circuit breaker to be out and reset it. The circuit breaker popped within seconds and was then left out for the flight back to home field. The circuit breaker was reset by an unknown person between the time the aircraft landed and the preflight the next day by the mishap crew. Shortly after takeoff from Patuxent River-NAS, MD (NHK), while climbing through 7500 feet, an explosion occurred in the outboard part of the left wing. A fire erupted. The nr.1 engine was shut down and the extinguisher bottles fired. The crew was unable to control the fire. Control difficulties forced the pilot to carry out a forced landing. An emergency descent was flown at a speed of 270 kts IAS and a forced landing was made in a corn field. After tho aircraft came to rest, the fire burned for 36 minutes. The fire continued burning aft and inboard before it was extinguished by a local volunteer fire department. [Credit: Flight Safety Foundation]

USM 40498 49n 08w 1127 F220 48n 10w 1148

[Photo: at AMARG © Philip Kovaric]
USAF C-130E with 779TAS, 64-0498
It ended its days in the AMARG, AZ in December 2006, where it was allocated an inventory code of CF0243

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