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Last updated: 27 February 2021
Status:Final
Date:Thursday 23 April 2020
Time:17:24
Type:Silhouette image of generic C30J model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different
Lockheed C-130J-30 Super Hercules
Operator:United States Air Force - USAF
Registration: 11-5736
C/n / msn: 5736
First flight: 2013
Total airframe hrs:4624
Engines: 4 Rolls-Royce AE2100D3
Crew:Fatalities: 0 / Occupants: 4
Passengers:Fatalities: 0 / Occupants: 0
Total:Fatalities: 0 / Occupants: 4
Aircraft damage: Substantial
Location:Ramstein AFB (RMS) (   Germany)
Phase: Landing (LDG)
Nature:Military
Departure airport:Ramstein AFB (RMS/ETAR), Germany
Destination airport:Ramstein AFB (RMS/ETAR), Germany
Narrative:
The C-130J-30, assigned to the 37th Airlift Squadron, 86th Airlift Wing at Ramstein Air Base, Germany, conducted a routine periodic evaluation flight for a pilot.
The crew flew a maximum effort (assault) landing at Ramstein Air Base and experienced a hard landing with a vertical acceleration load factor (g-load) exceedance value of 3.62 times the force of gravity (g) and a landing sink rate of 834 feet per minute exceeding the aircraft’s maximum allowable landing limits of 540 fpm and g-load of 2.0g. Immediately upon touchdown, the crew executed a go-around and coordinated with Air Traffic Control for a visual approach, full-stop landing. The aircraft landed safely at 17:37.
The landing g-load exceedance resulted in significant damage to the center wing, both outer wings, left and right main landing gear assemblies, and engines, to include mounting structures. The estimated damages are $20,917,089.
The crew of this mission was scheduled to fly in a formation of three C-130J’s planning to conduct two training routes. The primary training objective for the local sortie was to complete the pilot’s evaluation. The crew planned to takeoff early as a single-ship, conduct a maximum effort takeoff followed by a maximum effort landing using the painted landing zone marked on the runway as required for the evaluation, full-stop, and then rejoin the formation in order to complete the remainder of the evaluation requirements in the formation. Preflight, engine start, taxi and the Ramstein AB visual traffic pattern procedures were executed within good flying standards and were procedurally correct. The mishap occurred during the maximum effort landing.

Probable Cause:

The Accident Investigation Board President found, by a preponderance of the evidence, the cause of this mishap was the pilot's early engine power reduction (power pull), beginning at 70 feet above ground level (AGL) and fully flight idle at 45 feet AGL. In addition, the board president found, by the preponderance of evidence, that the evaluated pilot and other pilot’s failure to identify the excessive sink rate and their failure to arrest the excessive sink rate or go-around in a timely manner were substantially contributing factors that resulted in the aircraft exceeding the C-130J-30 g-load and sink rate landing limits.

Accident investigation:
cover
Investigating agency: USAF AIB
Status: Investigation completed
Duration: 300 days (10 months)
Accident number: final report
Download report: Final report

Classification:
Heavy landing
Runway mishap

Photos

photo of Lockheed-C-130J-30-Super-Hercules-11-5736
accident date: 23-04-2020
type: Lockheed C-130J-30 Super Hercules
registration: 11-5736
photo of Lockheed-C-130J-30-Super-Hercules-11-5736
 

Map

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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