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Last updated: 23 May 2019
Status:Schlussbericht
Datum:Sonntag 11 Dezember 1977
Zeit:11:20
Flugzeugtyp:Silhouette image of generic P3 model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different
Lockheed P-3B Orion
Fluggesellschaft:United States Navy
Kennzeichen: 153428
Werknummer: 185-5225
Baujahr: 1967
Besatzung:Todesopfer: 13 / Insassen: 13
Fluggäste:Todesopfer: 0 / Insassen: 0
Gesamt:Todesopfer: 13 / Insassen: 13
Sachschaden: Zerstört
Konsequenzen: Written off (damaged beyond repair)
Unfallort:El Hierro, Canary Islands (   Spanien)
Flugphase: Während des Fluges (ENR)
Betriebsart:Militär
Flug von:Terceira-Lajes AFB, Azores (TER/LPLA), Portugal
Flug nach:Terceira-Lajes AFB, Azores (TER/LPLA), Portugal
Unfallbericht:
The P-3 Orion aircraft departed at 08:36 on a ship surveillance mission. Approximately two hours after takeoff the aircraft reported all systems essential to the mission were operating normally. No further radio contact was made. At 11:20 the aircraft struck a mountain on a small island named El Hierro, at an altitude of 2300 ft msl. The top of the mountain was at 5200 ft msl. Visibility at the crash site was 50 meters in rain. The aircraft impacted in level flight at 220 knots. All engines were operating, except for #1, which was shutdown for loiter.
The PPC, navigator, radar operator and flight engineer were at the NCO club until 02:00 local, consuming alcoholic beverages. The post mortem showed that the navigator had experienced a myocardial infarction.
The island was located inside the northwest corner of the assigned patrol area. It is very possible that the crew was unaware of the island.

Probable Cause:

PROBABLE CAUSE FACTORS:
Flight crew - violation of natops regarding alcohol consumption/crew rest prior to flight.
Supervisory/squadron - failure to implement an effective aircrew surveillance program.

CONTRIBUTORY FACTOR:
Flight crew complacency - nonadherence to sound navigation procedures.

POSSIBLE CAUSE FACTOR:
TSC briefing display omission of the three Canary Islands.
Weather conditions - fog and rain.

Informationsquelle:
» Brunswick Times Record December 12, 1977
» P-3 Orion Aircraft Location Report (P-3 Orion Research Group - The Netherlands)
» US Crashes 1950-2002 / Jan van Waarde
» US Navy and US Marine Corps Aircraft Serial Numbers and Bureau Numbers--1911 to Present / Joe Baugher
» VPNavy.org


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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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