1995 Alaska Boeing E-3 Sentry accident

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1995 Alaska Boeing E-3 Sentry accident
Accident summary
Date September 22, 1995 (1995-09-22)
Summary Bird strike on take off
Site Near Elmendorf Air Force Base, Alaska, United States
Crew 24
Fatalities 24 (all)
Aircraft type Boeing E-3B Sentry
Operator United States Air Force
Registration 77-0354
Flight origin Elmendorf Air Force Base

The Alaska Boeing E-3 Sentry accident was the crash on 22 September 1995 of a United States Air Force Boeing E-3 Sentry airborne early warning aircraft with the loss of all 24 on board.[1] The aircraft, serial number 77-0354 with callsign Yukla 27 hit birds on departure from Elmendorf Air Force Base in Alaska, United States, with the loss of power from two engines the aircraft crashed into wooded area less than a mile from the end of the runway.[2]

Accident[edit]

One of the engines in the debris

The Sentry was being operated by the 962nd Airborne Air Control Squadron and was preparing to go on a training sortie with the callsign Yukla 27. The aircraft was to depart from runway 06 and was waiting while a Hercules transport aircraft took off. With its crew unaware that the Hercules had disturbed a flock of Canada geese, the Sentry lined up and started its departure roll, as it rotated No. 1 and No. 2 engine ingested the birds. The crew started to turn to the left to dump fuel and return to the runway, after the aircraft reached 250 feet it descended and crashed into a hilly, wooded area and exploded.[2]

Investigation[edit]

A briefing at the accident site.

The investigation concluded that the probable cause was the ingestion of Canada geese into No.1 and No.2 engine. Other factors were the insufficient efforts of the air base to deter the birds and the failure of the air traffic tower to report to both the Sentry and the airfield management that birds were present on the airfield.[2]

Aircraft[edit]

The Boeing E-3 Sentry serial number 77-0354 was built as an E-3A variant with the Boeing construction number 21554 and line number 933, it first flew on 5 July 1978 and was delivered to the United States Air Force on 19 January 1979. It was later modified by Boeing to E-3B standard.[1]

References[edit]

Notes
  1. ^ a b Pither 1998, pp. 403-404
  2. ^ a b c Accident description at the Aviation Safety Network
Sources