Narrative:Flying Tiger Line flight 7816/14 operated on a Military Air Transport Service (MATS) cargo flight from Travis AFB to Okinawa-Kadena AFB with refueling stops at Cold Bay, Adak and Misawa (Japan).
The flight departed Travis AFB at 21:00 GMT with a 142.050 pound gross weight (just 50 pounds below the maximum allowable takeoff gross weight). Buffeting developed on climbout due to an open hydraulic reservoir access door. The captain decided to return and make an overweight landing (max landing weight was 119.975 pounds). The plane landed at 21:32 and departed Travis again one hour later, landing at Cold Bay at 08:05. Departure from Cold Bay was at 09:19 GMT.
The enroute portion of the leg from Cold Bay to Adak was uneventful. Instrument weather prevailed and a Ground Controlled Approach (GCA) was started. The flight was cleared for a runway 23 straight-in approach.
During the approach, the GCA controller warned the crew on 7 times that they were below the glide slope and finally advised them to execute a missed approach. At about the same time the captain reported having the field in sight and continued the approach. Initial contact with the ground was some 328 feet short of the threshold and struck an embankment at the runway threshold, about 4 feet below runway elevation. The main gear separated and the plane veered right leaving the runway at the 1000 feet marker. The right wing was torn off and the main portion came to rest 2000 feet from the threshold. A severe fire erupted.
Weather at the time of the accident was ceiling indefinite 1000 feet, sky obscured, visibility 3 miles, light drizzle, fog, temperature 40deg F wind ESE 12 gusts to 18kts.
PROBABLE CAUSE: "The pilots' misjudgement of distance and altitude during the final approach for landing."
» CAB Aircraft Accident Report File No. 1-0036
» ICAO Accident Digest No.14 Volume I, Circular 71-AN/63 (21-23)
This map shows the airport of departure and the intended destination of the flight. The line between the airports does not
display the exact flight path.
Distance from Cold Bay Airport, AK to Adak Island NAS, AK as the crow flies is 982 km (614 miles).
This information is not presented as the Flight Safety Foundation or the Aviation Safety Networkĺs opinion as to the cause of the accident. It is preliminary and is based on the facts as they are known at this time.