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Status:Final
Date:Tuesday 16 April 1968
Time:09:00
Type:Silhouette image of generic C123 model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different
Fairchild C-123K Provider
Operator:United States Air Force - USAF
Registration: 54-602
MSN: 20051
First flight:
Crew:Fatalities: 4 / Occupants: 4
Passengers:Fatalities: 0 / Occupants: 0
Total:Fatalities: 4 / Occupants: 4
Aircraft damage: Damaged beyond repair
Location:46 km (28.8 mls) NW of Panama City, FL (   United States of America)
Phase: En route (ENR)
Nature:Military
Departure airport:Hurlburt Field, FL (KHRT), United States of America
Destination airport:Hurlburt Field, FL (KHRT), United States of America
Narrative:
On 16 April 1968, 08:00 CST, C-123K, sn 54-0602 (Call sign MOOSE 09) departed Hurlburt Field, FL, as lead aircraft in a flight of three C-123's. The assigned mission was a routine SEA serial spray training flight. The formation proceeded to a point 25 nm northwest of Panama City, Florida (the designated spray training area), arriving there at 08:35 CST.
At this time a series of simulated defoliation runs were conducted over an open field. At approximately 08:50 CST Aircraft 54-0602 assumed the number three position in a right echelon formation for practice defoliation runs along a series of roads. At the completion of the first run the lead aircraft gave a command to place the aircraft in a "piggy back" formation, then climbed from 150 feet AGL to approximately 300 feet AGL and executed a 270 degree turn to the right. While in this turn the Number Three aircraft contacted the ground in a left wing low position, cartwheeled, immediately caught fire and was destroyed. The instructor pilot, two student pilots, and the flight engineer sustained fatal injuries.

Sources:
» USAF accident/incident report dated 8 May 1968
» E-mail Kevin Woolterton 14-3-2008
» St. Petersburg Times 17 April 1968, p2A


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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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