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Status:Final
Date:Wednesday 7 August 2002
Time:20:50
Type:Silhouette image of generic C130 model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different
Lockheed MC-130H Combat Talon II
Operator:United States Air Force - USAF
Registration: 90-0161
MSN: 5265
First flight: 1991
Crew:Fatalities: / Occupants:
Passengers:Fatalities: / Occupants:
Total:Fatalities: 10 / Occupants: 10
Aircraft damage: Damaged beyond repair
Location:near Caguas (   Puerto Rico)
Phase: En route (ENR)
Nature:Military
Departure airport:Aguadilla-Borinquen Airport (BQN/TJBQ), Puerto Rico
Destination airport:?
Narrative:
The MC-130 departed Borinquen to fly segments of two low-level routes that are used by the Puerto Rico ANG. After cresting a ridgeline power was reduced and the aircraft began a descent. The crew received an obstacle warning, but the crew believed this was caused by the weather (driving rain and heavy fog) and descent was continued. The Hercules eventually began to climb again until it struck a ridgeline at 2018 feet MSL.

Probable Cause:

PROBABLE CAUSE: "By clear and convincing evidence, the cause of this mishap was an uncharacteristic loss of situational awareness by the entire mishap flight deck crew and the subsequent lack of an appropriate response to obstacle warnings. The Board President further found the following factors substantially contributed to the mishap: overall crew preparation, a misdirected focus on the weather, crew resource management dynamics, and crew judgment as it relates to existing directives."

Classification:
Loss of situational awareness
Controlled Flight Into Terrain (CFIT) - Mountain

Sources:
» Executive summary aircraft accident investigation MC-130H, S/N 90-0161 Caguas, Puerto Rico 7 August 2002


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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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Lockheed C-130

  • 2041 built
  • 274th loss
  • 181st fatal accident
  • 59th worst accident (at the time)
  • 69th worst accident (currently)
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 Puerto Rico
  • 5th worst accident
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