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Date:Saturday 4 October 1986
Type:Silhouette image of generic C130 model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different
Lockheed L-100-30 Hercules
Operator:Southern Air Transport
Registration: N15ST
MSN: 4391
First flight: 1971
Total airframe hrs:45622
Engines: 4 Allison 501-D22A
Crew:Fatalities: 3 / Occupants: 3
Passengers:Fatalities: 0 / Occupants: 0
Total:Fatalities: 3 / Occupants: 3
Aircraft damage: Destroyed
Aircraft fate: Written off (damaged beyond repair)
Location:San Antonio-Kelly AFB, TX (SKF) (   United States of America)
Crash site elevation: 211 m (692 feet) amsl
Phase: Takeoff (TOF)
Departure airport:San Antonio-Kelly AFB, TX (SKF/KSKF), United States of America
Destination airport:Warner Robins-Robins AFB, GA (WRB/KWRB), United States of America
Flightnumber: 15
N15ST arrived at Kelly AFB at 02:20. The loading supervisor recalled that he saw the elevator in a faired position with the horizontal stabilizer. (If the flight controls had been in their neutral position, the elevator would have been in a trailing edge down position relative to the horizontal stabilizer.) At 04:01 the crew taxied to runway 15 and received takeoff clearance at 04:05. The aircraft was seen to rotate after a 4500 feet takeoff roll and climbed to 100-200 feet. The plane then attained an extreme nose high attitude, climbing to 600-700 feet an entering a left roll or bank. Altitude was lost until the Hercules struck the ramp area in a near inverted attitude, slid between 2 hangars and exploded.

Probable Cause:

PROBABLE CAUSE: "The use by the carrier of a non-approved device designed to raise the elevator during loading operations which was not properly stowed by the flight crew and which lodged in the controls, preventing the flight crew from controlling the airplane during take-off."

Accident investigation:
Investigating agency: NTSB
Status: Investigation completed
Duration: 187 days (6 months)
Accident number: NTSB/AAR-87-04
Download report: Final report
Language: English

» NTSB/AAR-87/04

Follow-up / safety actions

NTSB issued 8 Safety Recommendations

Show all...


photo of Lockheed-L-100-30-Hercules-N15ST
accident date: 04-10-1986
type: Lockheed L-100-30 Hercules
registration: N15ST

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 San Antonio-Kelly AFB, TX to Warner Robins-Robins AFB, GA as the crow flies is 1463 km (914 miles).
Accident location: Exact; deduced from official accident report.

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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