2017 United States Marine Corps KC-130 crash

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2017 United States Marine Corps KC-130 Crash
Lockheed KC.130T of the U.S. Marine Corps. coded QH at Stuttgart-STR (7822186500).jpg
The Lockheed KC-130T involved in the crash, in 2012
Accident
DateJuly 10, 2017 (2017-07-10)
SummaryIn-flight Breakup due to Improper Maintenance
SiteLeflore County, Mississippi, United States
33°28′23″N 90°26′56″W / 33.473°N 90.449°W / 33.473; -90.449Coordinates: 33°28′23″N 90°26′56″W / 33.473°N 90.449°W / 33.473; -90.449
Aircraft
Aircraft typeLockheed KC-130T Hercules
OperatorUnited States Marine Corps
Registration165000
Flight originMarine Corps Air Station Cherry Point, North Carolina
DestinationNaval Air Facility El Centro, California
Occupants16
Passengers7
Crew9
Fatalities16 (all)
Survivors0

On July 10, 2017, a Lockheed KC-130T Hercules aircraft of the United States Marine Corps (USMC) crashed in Leflore County, Mississippi, killing all 16 people on board.[1][2][3] The aircraft had the call sign "Yanky 72" and was from Marine Aerial Refueler Transport Squadron 452 (VMGR-452) based at Stewart Air National Guard Base, New York. Debris from the aircraft was found in Leflore County, Mississippi. The USMC released a statement calling the event a "mishap."[4]

The crash is the deadliest Marine Corps disaster since 2005, when a U.S. Marine Corps Sikorsky CH-53E Super Stallion helicopter crashed in Iraq, killing 31 people.[5]

Aircraft[edit]

The aircraft involved was a Lockheed KC-130T Hercules tanker/transport of the United States Marine Corps built in 1993, with Bureau Number (BuNo.) 165000.[6] The aircraft was nicknamed Triple Nuts because of the abbreviated number "000" on its nose.[6] The aircraft was initially delivered to the United States Air Force in 1993 and later was transferred to the United States Navy and then assigned to the U.S. Marine Corps. It was damaged on the ground during a storm on 1 June 2004 at Naval Air Station Joint Reserve Base Fort Worth, Texas. As a result of the storm, it was flipped onto its port wingtip, damaging a refueling pod. It was quickly repaired and placed back into service.

Accident[edit]

The flight took off from Cherry Point at 14:07 EDT, with the callsign "Yanky 72."[7] The aircraft was en route to Naval Air Facility El Centro in California.[8][9] At 1549:24 EDT, the crew made a routine transmission to Memphis ARTCC, followed by which nothing more was heard from the flight. Radar contact was abruptly lost minutes later.[8][9] After nine unsuccessful attempts by Memphis ARTCC to reach the aircraft, another flight reported seeing a plume of smoke. The plane had apparently crashed 85 miles (137 km) north of Jackson, Mississippi, killing all sixteen occupants. Brigadier General Bradley James said immediately after the accident, "Indications are something went wrong at cruise altitude." The aircraft was also reported to have been carrying weapons and ammunition.[10] Debris was spread in a 5-mile (8 km) radius from the crash site and firefighters attending the crash site used 4,000 US gallons (15,000 l) of foam to extinguish the post-crash fire.[11][12][13] Witnesses reported seeing the aircraft on fire with a smoking engine and descending in a "flat spin".[14]

Investigation[edit]

According to the accident report published by the USMC, the accident was caused by improper repairs conducted in 2011 on a corroded propeller blade.[7] The blade, belonging to the inner-left engine, failed while the aircraft was cruising at 20,000 feet. It passed through the left side of the fuselage and embedded itself in the inner-right wall of the passenger compartment. The blade striking the fuselage created a shock that traveled through the aircraft and caused the propeller and part of the reduction gearbox from the inner-right engine to separate and impact the right forward fuselage, "momentarily embedded into the upper right section," before striking and removing most of the right horizontal stabilizer. The fuselage, including the flight deck, separated at a point 19 feet forward of the leading edge of the wingbox. The fuselage ahead of the wingbox (minus the cockpit section) the was torn apart by aerodynamic forces, after which the remainder of the aircraft rapidly descended to the ground.[7]

Memorial[edit]

On July 14, 2018 a memorial located near the crash site in Leflore County was dedicated to the fallen. Part of the stretch of U.S. Highway 82 that ran through the crash site was also renamed YANKY 72 Memorial Highway.[15]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ DICKSTEIN, COREY (July 12, 2017). "General: Plane developed in air problems that led to fatal crash" (July 13, 2017). STARS AND STRIPES. Archived from the original on 2017-07-12. Retrieved 13 July 2017.
  2. ^ "KC-130 crash: Plane developed problems high in the air, general says". CBS/AP. July 12, 2017. Retrieved July 12, 2017.
  3. ^ LeBlanc, Paul (2017-07-10). "Military plane crashes in Mississippi, 16 dead". CNN. Retrieved 10 July 2017.
  4. ^ Marines, U. S. (2017-07-10). "A USMC KC-130 mishap occurred the evening of July 10. Further information will be released as available". @USMC. Archived from the original on 2017-07-11. Retrieved 2017-07-11.
  5. ^ Pettus, Emily; Solis, Rogelio. "16 dead in Mississippi in worst Marine crash since 2005". ABC News. The Associated Press. Archived from the original on 2017-07-12. Retrieved 11 July 2017.
  6. ^ a b Ellen Ann Fentress; Richard Pérez-Peña; Dave Philipps (12 July 2017). "Marine Plane Had Emergency at High Altitude, General Says". The New York Times. Retrieved 2017-07-12.
  7. ^ a b c United States Marine Corps. "Command Investigation into the Class A Aviation Mishap within Marine Aerial Refueler Transport Squadron 452 on 10 July 2017" (PDF). Retrieved December 12, 2018.
  8. ^ a b "Marine Corps cargo aircraft crashes in Mississippi killing at least 16 crew". Washington Post. Archived from the original on 2017-07-11. Retrieved 2017-07-11.
  9. ^ a b "Military plane crash kills 16 in rural Mississippi". The Guardian. 11 July 2017. Retrieved 2017-07-11.
  10. ^ McLaughlin, Eliott C.; Smith, Tristan; LeBlanc, Paul (2017-07-12). "Engine from Mississippi Marine plane crash found, sheriff says". CNN. Retrieved 2018-01-10.
  11. ^ Hartley-Parkinson, Richard. "16 dead after military plane carrying weapons explodes mid-air then crashes". Metro. Associated Newspapers. Retrieved 11 July 2017.
  12. ^ "Mississippi crash: Sixteen dead in Marines Corps plane incident". BBC News Online. Retrieved 11 July 2017.
  13. ^ "Accident description". Aviation Safety Network. Retrieved 16 July 2017.
  14. ^ "Marine Crash Inquiry Continues But No Answers Expected Soon". www.military.com. Retrieved 9 January 2018.
  15. ^ Scott, Andrea (2018-07-14). "1 year after deadly KC−130T crash, victims are remembered with memorial near Mississippi site". Marine Corps Times. Retrieved 2018-09-16.