Narrative:The C-141 had arrived at Cam Ranh Bay after a flight from Yokota AB, Japan. It was prepared for a night departure back to Yokota. While taxying to the runway for takeoff the crew completed the Before Takeoff Checklist. The copilot inadvertently missed the item referring to the automatic Spoiler Select Switch. The switch should have been in the "Rejected Takeoff" (RTO) position, but was in the "Autoland" position when the airplane departed. Unnoticed by the crew, between 34-60 Knots, the spoilers automatically deployed to the ground position. The crew noticed a reduced acceleration rate, but elected to continue the takeoff. The aircraft became airborne, accelerated poorly and began a shallow descent. It crashed into the sea just off the end of the runway.
» C-141 Lifetime Mishap Summary / Lt. Col. Paul M. Hansen, USAFR, Ret. McChord AFB WA (1 October, 2004)
Follow-up / safety actions
As a result of this accident, the Takeoff Warning system was wired to include the Spoiler Select Switch. The Auto Spoilers were eventually disabled entirely (around 1980).
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 Cam Ranh Airport to Tokyo-Yokota AFB as the crow flies is 3992 km (2495 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.