ASN Aircraft accident Lockheed C-141A-LM Starlifter 65-0281 Tacoma-McChord AFB, WA (TCM)
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Date:Wednesday 7 September 1966
Type:Silhouette image of generic C141 model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different
Lockheed C-141A-LM Starlifter
Operator:United States Air Force - USAF
Registration: 65-0281
MSN: 300-6133
First flight:
Total airframe hrs:53
Engines: 4 Pratt & Whitney TF33-P-7
Crew:Fatalities: 0 / Occupants: 0
Passengers:Fatalities: 0 / Occupants: 0
Total:Fatalities: 0 / Occupants: 0
Ground casualties:Fatalities: 3
Aircraft damage: Damaged beyond repair
Location:Tacoma-McChord AFB, WA (TCM) (   United States of America)
Phase: Standing (STD)
Departure airport:-
Destination airport:-
The brand new C-141 was experiencing several maintenance difficulties. The right extended range tank fuel gauge was erratic, and the AC 'power on' light was inoperative. A maintenance crew was sent to rectify both problems. A team began to work in the flight deck to check the power on light. Other technicians began to work on the fuel gauge. However, the fuel tank was not yet fully defueled.
One of the electrical technicians connected the tester to the fuel tank, but failed to ground the test equipment. Another technician plugged an extension cord into the external 115V AC receptacle of the APU.
A short in the shielding of the cables connected to the fuel tank caused a spark within the nearly empty tank. The right wing exploded. Two technicians were killed almost immediately. One of the technicians in the cockpit was fatally burned while exiting the right troop door into a burning pool of JP-4 fuel.

Fuel tank explosion
Damaged on the ground

» C-141 Lifetime Mishap Summary / Lt. Col. Paul M. Hansen, USAFR, Ret. McChord AFB WA (1 October, 2004)
» Mark Mitchell


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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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