Accident Lockheed C-130J-30 Super Hercules 11-5736, Thursday 23 April 2020
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Date:Thursday 23 April 2020
Type:Silhouette image of generic C30J model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different    
Lockheed C-130J-30 Super Hercules
Owner/operator:United States Air Force - USAF
Registration: 11-5736
MSN: 5736
Year of manufacture:2013
Total airframe hrs:4624 hours
Engine model:Rolls-Royce AE2100D3
Fatalities:Fatalities: 0 / Occupants: 4
Other fatalities:0
Aircraft damage: Substantial
Location:Ramstein AFB (RMS) -   Germany
Phase: Landing
Departure airport:Ramstein AFB (RMS/ETAR)
Destination airport:Ramstein AFB (RMS/ETAR)
Investigating agency: USAF AIB
Confidence Rating: Accident investigation report completed and information captured
The C-130J-30, assigned to the 37th Airlift Squadron, 86th Airlift Wing at Ramstein Air Base, Germany, conducted a routine periodic evaluation flight for a pilot.
The crew flew a maximum effort (assault) landing at Ramstein Air Base and experienced a hard landing with a vertical acceleration load factor (g-load) exceedance value of 3.62 times the force of gravity (g) and a landing sink rate of 834 feet per minute exceeding the aircraft’s maximum allowable landing limits of 540 fpm and g-load of 2.0g. Immediately upon touchdown, the crew executed a go-around and coordinated with Air Traffic Control for a visual approach, full-stop landing. The aircraft landed safely at 17:37.
The landing g-load exceedance resulted in significant damage to the center wing, both outer wings, left and right main landing gear assemblies, and engines, to include mounting structures. The estimated damages are $20,917,089.
The crew of this mission was scheduled to fly in a formation of three C-130J’s planning to conduct two training routes. The primary training objective for the local sortie was to complete the pilot’s evaluation. The crew planned to takeoff early as a single-ship, conduct a maximum effort takeoff followed by a maximum effort landing using the painted landing zone marked on the runway as required for the evaluation, full-stop, and then rejoin the formation in order to complete the remainder of the evaluation requirements in the formation. Preflight, engine start, taxi and the Ramstein AB visual traffic pattern procedures were executed within good flying standards and were procedurally correct. The mishap occurred during the maximum effort landing.

The Accident Investigation Board President found, by a preponderance of the evidence, the cause of this mishap was the pilot's early engine power reduction (power pull), beginning at 70 feet above ground level (AGL) and fully flight idle at 45 feet AGL. In addition, the board president found, by the preponderance of evidence, that the evaluated pilot and other pilot’s failure to identify the excessive sink rate and their failure to arrest the excessive sink rate or go-around in a timely manner were substantially contributing factors that resulted in the aircraft exceeding the C-130J-30 g-load and sink rate landing limits.

Accident investigation:
Investigating agency: USAF AIB
Report number: final report
Status: Investigation completed
Duration: 10 months
Download report: Final report




photo (c) USAF AIB; Ramstein AFB (RMS); April 2020

photo (c) USAF AIB; Ramstein AFB (RMS); April 2020

Revision history:


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