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C-5 Losses

  • 67-0172 w/o May 25, 1970 in ground fire
  • 67-8303 w/o Oct 17, 1970 in ground fire
  • In September 1971 the effects of corrosion and fatigue were demonstrated by an accident at Altus AFB, which destroyed an aircraft when the number one engine and pylon tore loose from the wing of a C-5A preparing to takeoff. Investigation revealed a 1.35-inch-long crack on the inboard titanium longeron. Fatigue failure of the inboard cap of the aft pylon truss accounted for the separation.
  • 68-0227 w/o Sept 27, 1974 in ground fire
  • On 04 April 1975 the US was involved in the evacuation of more than 2,000 Vietnamese orphans out of Saigon as North Vietnamese forces marched on the city. A C-5, which was returning to the Philippines after delivering war material, and a C-9 were loaded with children from Saigon'' orphanages and female government employees. These children were to be adopted into families in the United States and Europe. The mission, named Operation Babylift, was the first of more than 30 planned. Workers at the airport carried the children -- more than 100 infants and 140 older children -- into the C-5 one by one. A majority of them were only 2 years and younger. Almost half the children sat in the cargo compartment of the aircraft below, while the remainder sat in the troop compartment upstairs. At 23,000 feet the aft door was torn from the aircraft. The safety investigation would later reveal one of the door locks failed and created a pressure overload on all the other locks. When that happened, it blew out the doors, and the C-5 then experienced a rapid decompression. When the aft door blew out it severed three of the four hydraulic systems as well as the flight controls. The explosion ripped a large hole near the rear of the aircraft. The pilot diverted the plane and headed back to Tan Son Nhut AB, but the C-5 couldn't make it. The pilot made an emergency landing in a rice paddy, within two miles of the base, shearing off the cargo compartment of the aircraft. Many of the orphans were still asleep when the aircraft hit the ground, bounced up, and began to break apart as it hit again and slid to a stop. The entire cargo bay of the aircraft sheared off as the plane tore across the field. Of the 140 passengers below only six survived. Eleven out of the 29 crewmembers lost their lives. The nurses and technicians aboard did their best to save as many children as they could. Thanks to the aircrew's flying skills, however, 176 of the 314 people on board survived, including 150 orphans.
  • On 28 August 1990 a C-5A (68-0228 from the 60th MAW) crashed after takeoff from Ramstein AB, killing 13 of 17 aboard. At the time of the crash, the crew was flying a mission in support of Operation Desert Shield. Nine were reservists of the 68th Airlift Squadron who had volunteered for duty in the Gulf (the incident sometimes referred to have happened on 29 August).
  • On 03 April 2006 a C-5 carrying 17 people crashed just short of a runway at Dover Air Force Base after developing problems during takeoff. Everyone aboard the plane survived, though several people were injured.



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