Accident Consolidated PB4Y-2 Super Privateer N7620C, Thursday 18 July 2002
ASN logo

Date:Thursday 18 July 2002
Type:Silhouette image of generic P4Y model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different    
Consolidated PB4Y-2 Super Privateer
Owner/operator:Hawkins & Powers Aviation
Registration: N7620C
MSN: 66260
Year of manufacture:1945
Total airframe hrs:8346 hours
Engine model:Wright R-2600-35
Fatalities:Fatalities: 2 / Occupants: 2
Other fatalities:0
Aircraft damage: Destroyed, written off
Location:10 km SW of Estes Park, CO -   United States of America
Phase: Manoeuvring (airshow, firefighting, ag.ops.)
Nature:Fire fighting
Departure airport:Broomfield-Jeffco Airport, CO (BJC/KBJC)
Destination airport:Broomfield-Jeffco Airport, CO (BJC/KBJC)
Investigating agency: NTSB
Confidence Rating: Accident investigation report completed and information captured
Super Privateer 'Tanker 123' was being used by the U. S. Department of Agriculture Forest Service to drop fire retardant on the Big Elk fire near Lyons, CO. The airplane was loaded with approximately 2,000 gallons of fire retardant, and 550 gallons of fuel and departed Broomfield-Jeffco Airport at 18:15.
The crew of a DC-4 ('Tanker 161') saw Tanker 123 in a base turn for the drop and in a "smooth 15 to 20 degree bank turn," when the left wing separated from the airplane inboard of the number 2 engine. The aircraft pitched nose down in a huge fireball and plunged into the ground vertically starting an immediate large fire. The investigations into the June 17, 2002 C-130A and July 18 P-4Y crashes are closely looking at the fatigue cracks as well as other safety issues, such as inspection and maintenance procedures and operational factors. Preliminary results for both have indicated that widespread fatigue was not evident over the entire wing but that in some locations current crack detection techniques may have been unreliable.

PROBABLE CAUSE: "The inflight failure of the left wing due to fatigue cracking in the left wing's forward spar and wing skin. A factor contributing to the accident was inadequate maintenance procedures to detect fatigue cracking."

Accident investigation:
Investigating agency: NTSB
Report number: DEN02GA074
Status: Investigation completed
Duration: 1 year
Download report: Final report


National Interagency Fire Center



photo (c) Peter Frei; Greybull-South Big Horn County Airport, WY (GEY); 19 September 1997

photo (c) Joseph Handelman; Lancaster-William J Fox Airport, CA (WJF); 09 October 1999

Revision history:


The Aviation Safety Network is an exclusive service provided by:
Quick Links:

CONNECT WITH US: FSF on social media FSF Facebook FSF Twitter FSF Youtube FSF LinkedIn FSF Instagram

©2024 Flight Safety Foundation

1920 Ballenger Av, 4th Fl.
Alexandria, Virginia 22314