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Last updated: 21 November 2018
Status:Final
Date:Sunday 18 December 2011
Time:10:32
Type:Silhouette image of generic M28 model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different
PZL-Mielec C-145A (M28-05) Skytruck
Operator:United States Air Force - USAF
Registration: 08-0319
C/n / msn: AJE 003-19
First flight: 2009
Total airframe hrs:1164
Cycles:1273
Engines: 2 Pratt & Whitney Canada PT6A-65B
Crew:Fatalities: 0 / Occupants: 3
Passengers:Fatalities: 0 / Occupants: 4
Total:Fatalities: 0 / Occupants: 7
Aircraft damage: Damaged beyond repair
Location:Walan Rabat Landing Zone (   Afghanistan)
Phase: Landing (LDG)
Nature:Military
Departure airport:Qalat Airstrip, Afghanistan
Destination airport:Walan Rabat Landing Zone, Afghanistan
Narrative:
At 09:39 hours UTC on 18 December 2011, an M-28 Skytruck, operated by the U.S. Air Force, departed Kandahar Air Base, Afghanistan on a mission to pick up four passengers at Qalat, Afghanistan, transport them to Walan Rabat short takeoff and landing zone, transport two additional personnel from Walan Rabat back to Qalat, then return to Kandahar Air Base. The aircraft and crew were assigned or attached to the 318th Special Operations Squadron, 27th Special Operations Wing at Cannon Air Force Base, New Mexico, and were deployed to the 318th Expeditionary Special Operations Squadron at Kandahar Air Base, Afghanistan.
After an uneventful stop at Qalat to onload four passengers and their bags, the crew flew a 20-minute leg to Walan Rabat. Surface winds at Walan Rabat were 190 degrees at 14 knots gusting to 17 knots, 30 degrees off a direct tailwind for runway 34. Because the landing zone has a three percent upslope for runway 34, and a 1,500-foot mountain exists 1,5 miles to the north, the pilot elected to land with a tailwind on runway 34, the preferred landing direction.
Walan Rabat Landing Zone is a 1,756-foot long, 31-foot wide, semi-prepared dirt strip with poorly defined boundaries. The landing zone was marked with AMP-3 markings, commonly called a "box-and-one" with colored panels. The pilot consulted a wind component chart and incorrectly calculated the tailwind component, mistakenly believing it was within the allowable limit for landing the M-28. The pilot flew a shallow 2,5-3 degree approach due to the upsloping landing zone. At approximately 1,000 feet short of the landing zone, the pilot visually acquired the AMP-3 markings and landed the aircraft at 10:32 UTC. After a firmer than normal landing, the aircraft veered to the right and departed the prepared surface.
The nose gear encountered uneven terrain and collapsed, causing the aircraft to flip tailover-nose. The crew and passengers then egressed the aircraft through the copilot’s window. There were no serious injuries to crew or passengers.

Probable Cause:

CONCLUSION:
The AIB president found no clear and convincing evidence of the primary cause of the accident.
He determined by a preponderance of evidence that the Landing Zone Condition, CrossMonitoring Performance, Task/Mission-in-Progress Re-planning, Landing with an Excessive Tailwind, and Aircraft Engine Anomalies substantially contributed to the mishap, ultimately causing the mishap aircraft to veer off the prepared surface into rough terrain, resulting in the collapse of the nose landing gear and destruction of the aircraft.

Accident investigation:
cover
Investigating agency: USAF AIB
Status: Investigation completed
Duration: 169 days (6 months)
Accident number: Final Report
Download report: Final report


Photos

photo of PZL-Mielec C-145A (M28-05) Skytruck 08-0319
photo of PZL-Mielec C-145A (M28-05) Skytruck 08-0319
photo of PZL-Mielec C-145A (M28-05) Skytruck 08-0319
photo of PZL-Mielec C-145A (M28-05) Skytruck 08-0319
photo of PZL-Mielec C-145A (M28-05) Skytruck 08-0319
photo of PZL-Mielec C-145A (M28-05) Skytruck 08-0319
photo of PZL-Mielec C-145A (M28-05) Skytruck 08-0319
photo of PZL-Mielec C-145A (M28-05) Skytruck 08-0319
photo of PZL-Mielec C-145A (M28-05) Skytruck 08-0319
photo of PZL-Mielec C-145A (M28-05) Skytruck 08-0319
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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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