C-5 accident investigation board complete

  • Published
The results of an investigation into the C-5 Galaxy crash at Dover Air Force Base, Del., on April 3 found that human error was the cause, Air Mobility Command officials released today.

The accident investigation board determined the pilots and flight engineers did not properly configure, maneuver and power the aircraft during approach and landing.

Following a normal takeoff and initial climb, the C-5 aircrew observed a No. 2 engine “Thrust Reverser Not Locked” indication light. They shut down the No. 2 engine as a precaution and returned to Dover AFB. The board determined that during the return to the base:

-- The pilots and flight engineers continued to use the shut-down No. 2 engine’s throttle while leaving the fully-operational No. 3 engine in idle.
-- Both instructor and primary flight engineers failed to brief, and pilots failed to consider and use, a proper flap setting. 

-- The pilots’ attempt at a visual approach to runway 32 resulted in the aircraft descending well below a normal glidepath for an instrument-aided approach or the normal visual flight rules pattern altitude.
-- The aircraft commander failed to give a complete approach briefing that would have included non-standard factors, configuration, landing distance and missed approach intentions.

All 17 people on board the C-5 survived the crash, but three crewmembers were seriously injured when the aircraft stalled, hit a utility pole and crashed into a field about a mile short of the runway. The other passengers and crewmembers sustained minor injures and were treated and released from local hospitals.

The aircraft was assigned to the 436th Airlift Wing and was flown by members of the 512th Airlift Wing, a Reserve associate unit at Dover. It was bound for Ramstein Air Base, Germany, and was carrying 105,000 pounds of replenishment supplies for the U.S. Central Command area of responsibility.