ASN Aircraft accident Lockheed AC-130A Spectre 55-0043 A Shau Valley
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Status:
Date:Sunday 18 June 1972
Time:23:55
Type:Silhouette image of generic C130 model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different
Lockheed AC-130A Spectre
Operator:United States Air Force - USAF
Registration: 55-0043
MSN: 3070
First flight: 1957
Crew:Fatalities: 12 / Occupants: 15
Passengers:Fatalities: 0 / Occupants: 0
Total:Fatalities: 12 / Occupants: 15
Aircraft damage: Destroyed
Aircraft fate: Written off (damaged beyond repair)
Location:W of A Shau Valley (   Vietnam)
Phase: En route (ENR)
Nature:Military
Departure airport:Ubon Ratchathani RTAFB (UBP/VTUU), Thailand
Destination airport:Ubon Ratchathani RTAFB (UBP/VTUU), Thailand
Narrative:
The Hercules, call sign "Spectre 11," was conducting a night armed reconnaissance mission to attack elite NVA forces known to be infiltrating from Laos into South Vietnam along the Ho Chi Minh Trail. Spectre 11 was making its second attack pass over the target area when it received a direct hit in the number 3 engine by a 9K32 Strela-2 shoulder-fired, surface-to-air missile (also known as SA-7). A small explosion occurred and the right wing separated from the aircraft. The airplane descended in flames and crashed in the rugged jungle covered mountains west of the A Shau Valley.

Sources:
» Vietnam Air Losses : United States Air Force, Navy and Marine Corps fixed-wing aircraft losses in Southeast Asia 1961-1973 / Chris Hobson


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Map
This map shows the airport of departure and the intended destination of the flight. The line between the airports does not display the exact flight path.
Distance from Ubon Ratchathani RTAFB to Ubon Ratchathani RTAFB as the crow flies is 19903 km (12439 miles).
Accident location: Global; accuracy within tens or hundreds of kilometers.

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
  • 118th loss
  • 66th fatal accident
  • 14th worst accident (at the time)
  • 60th worst accident (currently)
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 Vietnam
  • 35th worst accident (at the time)
  • 46th worst accident (currently)
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