Narrative:Lockheed C-141 67-0008 departed Thule Air Base on Greenland for a two-hour flight to Sonderstrom Air Base. From Sonderstrom it was to return to Thule and continue back home to McGuire AFB. The flight carried enough fuel for the flight to McGuire. Following a PAR approach the airplane landed slightly long on the 9235 feet long runway 11. The aircraft rolled for 1500 to 2000 feet with no thrust reverser or spoiler deployment. A go around was commenced. The plane then rotated abruptly and lifted off the runway with a pitch attitude as high as 45 degrees. The aircraft stalled. The left wing struck the ground and burst into fire. The aircraft became airborne again with portions of the left wing missing. It flew for 650 feet before striking the ground with the right wing, causing it to catch fire. It then bounced once more and disintegrated 500 feet from runway centerline.
Investigation revealed that the crew were very inexperienced (a captain with less than 100 hours in command). The were probably affected by an optical illusion. The first 3000 feet of runway 11 has an upslope of 1.51%; it rises 59 feet from the threshold. At touchdown, the last two-thirds of the runway disappears, giving the impression of a very short runway.
» C-141 Lifetime Mishap Summary / Lt. Col. Paul M. Hansen, USAFR, Ret. McChord AFB WA (1 October, 2004)
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 Thule Air Base to Kangerlussuaq-Søndre Strømfjord Airport as the crow flies is 1208 km (755 miles).
This information is not presented as the Flight Safety Foundation or the Aviation Safety Network’s opinion as to the cause of the accident. It is preliminary and is based on the facts as they are known at this time.