Narrative:Immediately after takeoff from Sigonella NAS on the Italian island of Sicily, the aircraft’s nr. 3 engine experienced an uncontained failure. Debris was ejected and the caused nr.4 engine to also fail. Debris also entered the cargo compartment, starting a fire in a pallet containing paint. The cargo fire produced thick poisonous smoke which made visual control of aircraft extremely difficult. The aircraft entered a steep bank and crashed within 198 seconds of takeoff.
Post crash toxicology indicated the crew had received potentially fatal levels of cyanide poisoning from the smoke, prior to impact. Subsequent to this accident, smoke goggles were added to crew oxygen masks.
» 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 Sigonella Naval Air Field to Diego Garcia as the crow flies is 7703 km (4815 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.