Mountain Air Cargo
|Destinations||Several, primarily East Coast region and Caribbean|
|Parent company||Air T Inc|
|Headquarters||Denver, North Carolina, USA|
Mountain Air Cargo is an American cargo airline based in Denver, North Carolina, USA. It is a major contract carrier for FedEx Express, operating in the eastern USA and the Caribbean. Previous operations in South America have been discontinued by FedEx who now operate jet aircraft in that area. Its main maintenance facility is at Kinston Regional Jetport. All of the ATR and C208 aircraft operated by Mountain Air are owned by Fedex Express, and are operated by MAC on a "dry lease" basis.
The airline was established in 1974 and is wholly owned by Air T, Inc. It has 340 employees (as of May 2009).
Incidents and accidents
- October 11, 1985 - Mountain Air Cargo De Havilland Canada DHC-6 Twin Otter 200 (N3257), on a flight from State College to Pittsburgh in Pennsylvania, collided with rising terrain near Homer City. The pilot was killed. There was no one else on board.
- January 19, 1988 - Mountain Air Cargo De Havilland Canada DHC-6 Twin Otter 200 (N996SA), on a flight from Erie, Pennsylvania to Charlotte, North Carolina, descended below the glide path on approach to Charlotte/Douglas International Airport, collided with a tree and struck the ground 1.6 km away from the airport. The crash was due to pilot error. The pilot was severely injured. (The pilot was fatally injured two years later flying for another cargo carrier) There was no one else on board.
- January 9, 1998 - Mountain Air Cargo Cessna 208B Caravan I Super Cargomaster, on take off from Maiden-Little Mountain Airport, North Carolina, on a flight to Greensboro, veered off the runway and hit trees as it tried to ascend. The crash was determined to be due to pilot error, as the pilot had not removed the control gust lock prior to taking off. The pilot was killed. There was no one else on board.
- March 8, 2003 - Mountain Air Cargo Fokker F27-500 N712FE, en route from Greensboro, North Carolina to New Bern North Carolina, indicated an unsafe landing gear condition during the approach to New Bern. A tower flyby was performed, and the tower controller confirmed the right gear was not fully extended. The pilot declared an emergency and diverted to Kinston, North Carolina Regional Jetport to conduct an emergency landing. On landing roll the right main landing gear collapsed and the airplane slid off of the runway. Examination of the right main landing gear revealed the drag brace was fractured. The aircraft was retired from service. There were no casualties.
- April 27, 2004 - Mountain Air Cargo Fokker F27-500 N715FE departed Buenos Aires, Argentina for a cargo flight to São Paulo-Viracopos, Brazil via Porto Alegre. En route on the first leg, a crew member noticed the presence of smoke and discovered a fire in the cargo bay. Efforts to extinguish the fire were unsuccessful. The crew declared an in-flight emergency to Montevideo control center. The crew effected a safe emergency landing at Melo, Uruguay, a small airport nearby. The crew evacuated the aircraft. Fire fighters arrived and succeeded in extinguishing the fire. The airplane suffered considerable damage in the cargo compartments E and F. There were no casualties. The fire was caused by improperly packaged and labeled hazardous materials.
- May 8, 2008 - Two ATR 42-320s owned by FedEx Express (N904FX and N905FX) were severely damaged by a tornado while parked on the ramp at Piedmont Triad International Airport, Greensboro, North Carolina. Neither aircraft was occupied at the time, and there were no injuries. They were removed from service, sold to a salvage operator and scrapped.
- September 29, 2012 - Mountain Air Cargo 8553, an ATR 42 twin-engine plane, successfully landed at Duluth International Airport in Duluth, Minnesota. The plane landed while missing a front tire, after circling the airport trying to burn off extra fuel before attempting to land.
As of March 2011 the Mountain Air Cargo fleet includes:
- 8 × ATR 42-300
- 2 × ATR 42-320
- 3 × ATR 72-202
- 6 × ATR 72-212
- 1 × Raytheon Beech King Air C90B (Corporate use only)
- 5 × Cessna 208A Cargomaster
- 34 × Cessna 208B Super Cargomaster
- 1 × Shorts SH360
NOTE: While some of the ATRs may be found listed as "F" ("Freight") models, all of the ATRs used by Mountain Air were originally built as passenger versions. The "F" designation is properly used only on those that were originally built by ATR as freight versions, or were modified by ATR to their cargo specifications. The ATR's in service for FedEx were modified to their particular specifications by a contractor other than ATR.
Due to the economic downturn, in 2009 FedEx opted to put several of the earlier model C208 aircraft into long-term storage at their hub facility in Memphis, Tennessee. An undetermined number of these aircraft will eventually be retired.
Mountain Air Cargo was once the largest operator of Fokker F-27s in the world. All of these aircraft have now been retired. One of them, N705FE, is on display at the Hickory Aviation Museum, Hickory, North Carolina.