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Date:Sunday 11 September 1960
Type:Silhouette image of generic C123 model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different
Fairchild C-123B-13-FA Provider
Operator:United States Air Force - USAF
Registration: 55-4539
MSN: 20200
First flight:
Crew:Fatalities: 6 / Occupants: 6
Passengers:Fatalities: 3 / Occupants: 3
Total:Fatalities: 9 / Occupants: 9
Aircraft damage: Destroyed
Aircraft fate: Written off (damaged beyond repair)
Location:W of Empire, CO (   United States of America)
Crash site elevation: 3414 m (11201 feet) amsl
Phase: En route (ENR)
Departure airport:Aurora-Lowry AFB, CO, United States of America
Destination airport:Ogden-Hill AFB, UT (HIF/KHIF), United States of America
The C-123B departed Lowry AFB's runway 26 at 08:01 on a flight to Hill AFB as part of Logistic Mission 998 from Pope AFB to Hamilton AFB, CA. After takeoff aircraft made a left clearing turn and then back right to about 270 degrees. The elevation at Lowry is 5415 feet and aircraft was estimated at 6515 feet climbing as it approached the foothills west of Lowry. The airplane entered a box canyon and was not able to clear a ridge. It flew into the side of Vasquez Peak CO at the 11,200 feet level (3414 m).

Probable Cause:

A. Pilot factor in that the pilot violated paragraph 12A(4), AF Reg 60-16 and entered a box canyon with insufficient altitude and lateral clearance from which to effect a safe recovery.
A. Pilot Factor - A breach of air discipline, in that the pilot operated his aircraft for a distance of thirty-two miles at altitudes ranging from 500 feet down to 50 feet above the immediate terrain, in violation of Para 12A (3) AF regs 60-16.
B. Weather conditions may have been a contributing factor in that the forecast winds and turbulence indicate a probable adverse mountain wave effect on the aircraft immediately prior to impact.

Controlled Flight Into Terrain (CFIT) - Mountain



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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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