1996 Belgian Air Force Hercules accident

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1996 Belgian Air Force Hercules accident
Lockheed C-130H Hercules CH-12 (5935210044).jpg
A similar aircraft to that lost in the Hercules Disaster
Accident summary
Date 15 July 1996 (1996-07-15)
Summary Loss of power following ingestion of birds
Site Eindhoven Airport, Netherlands
Passengers 37
Crew 4
Fatalities 34
Injuries (non-fatal) 7
Survivors 7
Aircraft type Lockheed C-130H Hercules
Operator Belgian Air Force
Registration CH-06
Flight origin Verona Villafranca Airport, Italy
Last stopover Rimini Airport, Italy
Destination Eindhoven Airport, Netherlands

The 1996 Belgian Air Force Hercules accident is an aviation accident that occurred on 15 July 1996 at Eindhoven Airport, the Netherlands.[1] The disaster involved a Belgian Lockheed C-130 Hercules aircraft and resulted in the death of 34 passengers. The incident is known as the "Hercules disaster" (Dutch: Herculesramp) in the Netherlands and Belgium.


At 6:02 PM local time, the transport aircraft crashed at Eindhoven Airport with a total of 41 people on-board: Four Belgian crew members and 37 young members of the Fanfarekorps of the Royal Netherlands Army. As the aircraft was coming into land at Eindhoven, it encountered a flock of birds; it overshot, but lost power and crashed into the ground; a fire broke out, which destroyed the cockpit and forward fuselage.

The Eindhoven airfield fire service were not initially aware that the transport aircraft was carrying passengers - it was thirty minutes before they realised the truth, by which time most of them had died in the post-crash fire.[2] Following the accident, the Royal Netherlands Air Force officer who commanded the Eindhoven airbase, the officer responsible for air traffic and the officer commanding the fire department were relieved of their duties.[2] The investigation established that the passenger information, which was listed on the flight plan, was not transmitted to the destination airport; the investigation recommended that the flight plan procedure be amended.[3]


The cause of the accident was the ingestion of common starlings[4] into the two left engines, which caused the plane to go out of control during landing.

External links[edit]


  1. ^ "32 killed in Netherlands plane crash." Times [London, England] 16 July 1996: 11. The Times Digital Archive. Web. 4 Apr. 2014.
  2. ^ a b "Officers lose jobs after C-130 crash". Flight International: 21. 16–22 October 1996. 
  3. ^ "C-130 Crash". Flight International: 18. 30 September – 5 November 1996. 
  4. ^ "L'étourneau sansonnet". Jardin des Plantes. Retrieved 2016-08-22. 

Coordinates: 51°27′00″N 5°22′28″E / 51.4500°N 5.3744°E / 51.4500; 5.3744