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Accident description
Last updated: 21 November 2017
Date:Wednesday 29 August 1990
Type:Silhouette image of generic C5 model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different
Lockheed C-5A Galaxy
Operator:United States Air Force - USAF
Registration: 68-0228
C/n / msn: 500-0031
First flight:
Engines: 4 General Electric TF39
Crew:Fatalities: 8 / Occupants: 9
Passengers:Fatalities: 5 / Occupants: 8
Total:Fatalities: 13 / Occupants: 17
Airplane damage: Destroyed
Airplane fate: Written off (damaged beyond repair)
Location:Ramstein AFB (RMS) (   Germany)
Crash site elevation: 238 m (781 feet) amsl
Phase: Initial climb (ICL)
Departure airport:Ramstein AFB (RMS/ETAR), Germany
Destination airport:Frankfurt-Rhein-Main AFB (FRF/EDAF), Germany
The C-5 Galaxy was en route to Dhahran, Saudi Arabia, carrying medical supplies, food and aircraft maintenance equipment for U.S. troops sent to Saudi Arabia following the Aug. 2 Iraqi invasion of Kuwait. An intermediate stop was planned at Frankfurt-Rhein-Main AFB (FRF), Germany to have a fuel leak repaired.
Immediately after lifting off the runway at Ramstein (RMS), the airplane stopped accelerating at a speed of 161 kts. It stopped climbing at 50-100 feet and the crew members experienced severe buffeting of the airplane. The left wing dropped and contacted a large pine tree, ripping off the no. 1 engine. The C-5 rolled left and crashed. Investigators concluded that the there had been an uncommanded and inadvertent deployment of the no. 1 engine thrust reverser during takeoff.


Loss of control

» Mike Miller (E-mail, 19-2-2012)
» Aviation Week & Space Technology 17 Dec. 1990


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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 Ramstein AFB to Frankfurt-Rhein-Main AFB as the crow flies is 96 km (60 miles).
Accident location: Global; accuracy within tens or hundreds of kilometers.

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.
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