Accident Boeing RC-135V Rivet Joint 64-14848, Thursday 30 April 2015
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Date:Thursday 30 April 2015
Type:Silhouette image of generic R135 model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different    
Boeing RC-135V Rivet Joint
Owner/operator:United States Air Force - USAF
Registration: 64-14848
MSN: 18788
Year of manufacture:1964
Fatalities:Fatalities: 0 / Occupants: 27
Other fatalities:0
Aircraft damage: Substantial
Location:Bellevue-Offutt AFB, NE (OFF) -   United States of America
Phase: Take off
Departure airport:Bellevue-Offutt AFB, NE (OFF/KOFF)
Destination airport:Bellevue-Offutt AFB, NE (OFF/KOFF)
Investigating agency: USAF AIB
Confidence Rating: Accident investigation report completed and information captured
The Boeing RC-135V Rivet Joint, assigned to the 343rd Reconnaissance Squadron, 55th Wing, experienced a fire in the rear cabin during initial takeoff from runway 12 at Offutt AFB.
The aircraft and its crew were conducting a routine training mission in support of an Air Force Special Operations Command exercise. The crew consisted of cockpit crew, electronic warfare officers, intelligence operators and in-flight maintenance technicians.
The pilot aborted the takeoff, and all crew members safely evacuated the aircraft. Four crewmembers received treatment for minor smoke inhalation.
Fire crews arrived at approximately 18:29 and extinguished the flames. The fire burned a hole through the upper fuselage above the rear galley area of the aircraft, causing structural damage and
damage to aircraft control and mission related systems. Repair cost to the aircraft is estimated at $62.4 million.

The board president found by preponderance of the evidence that the cause of the mishap was a leak in the high-pressure oxygen system due to poor assembly of the system tubing at depot maintenance.
Failure by L3 Communications depot maintenance personnel to tighten a retaining nut connecting a metal oxygen tube to a junction fitting above the galley properly caused an oxygen leak. This leak created a highly flammable oxygen-rich environment that ignited. The resulting fire melted the retaining nut causing the tubing to become detached from the junction fitting, feeding more oxygen to the fire, increasing its size, and causing severe damage to the airframe, galley, and mission equipment onboard the aircraft.

Accident investigation:
Investigating agency: USAF AIB
Report number: Final report
Status: Investigation completed
Duration: 2 months
Download report: Final report




photo (c) U.S. Air Force; Bellevue-Offutt AFB, NE (OFF); 2015; (publicdomain)

photo (c) U.S. Air Force; Bellevue-Offutt AFB, NE (OFF); 2015; (publicdomain)

photo (c) U.S. Air Force; Bellevue-Offutt AFB, NE (OFF); 2015; (publicdomain)

photo (c) U.S. Air Force; Bellevue-Offutt AFB, NE (OFF); 2015; (publicdomain)

Revision history:


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