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C-141 Tail Number:

June 1978
Copyright:© Paul Minert

On 23 March, 1994, 66-0173 was one of two in the process of loading Army paratroops for an exercise airdrop mission at Pope AFB, NC.

A two-seat F-16D entering the traffic pattern collided with a C-130 at 300 feet on final for Runway 23. The C-130 continued and landed safely.

The pilots of the critically damaged F-16 ejected successfully. The F-16 then crashed onto the taxiway and skidded into the loading C-141, puncturing the fuel tanks in the right wing and, starting a fire that engulfed the aircraft. The fire and exploding ammunition from the F-16 hampered rescuers.

Of approximately 500 troops in the vicinity of the accident, 24 were killed and over 80 were injured.

This information was provided by Paul Hansen.

This info is from a web site devoted to all F-16 tail numbers, called F-16.net

The F-16 collided with C-130E (68-10942) over Pope AFB, near Fayetteville, North Carolina. The damaged C-130 landed safely. The F-16 crashed into the cargo aircraft parking ramp, shortly after the crew ejected safely. The wreckage of the F-16 scattered across the ramp, hitting a C-141B (66-0173) getting ready to load paratroopers. The paratroopers were rigging in the grassy area behind the C-141.

The C-141 caught fire which ignited the fuel tanks. Wreckage from the F-16 scattered through hundreds of fully rigged paratroopers. The C-141 was completely destroyed. By the 25 th of the month 23 had people died and 80 were seriously injured. Both the C-130 and the F-16 were trying to land at the same time. The F-16 was above the C-130 and could not see it. They collided at 300 feet. The F-16 hit the tail of the C-130 which damaged the nose of the F-16. The pilot could not regain altitude and before he ejected made an attempt to guide the aircraft away from the parking ramp and buildings by engaging the afterburners. Pieces of the F-16 were found out the back gate of the base, over 1,000 feet away from point of impact. The cause of the mishap was a chain of errors by civilian and military air-traffic controllers. This is the worst F-16 accident to date

This info is from a web site devoted to all F-16 tail numbers, called F-16.net



June 20, 1977

The Air Force released the aircraft accident reinvestigation report June 19 on the F-16D/C-130E midair collision at Pope Air Force Base, N.C., March 23, 1994. Twenty-four Army personnel were killed and more than 100 Army personnel and civilians were injured in the accident.

The original investigation found that there were multiple causes for the midair collision, the majority of which occurred in air traffic control. One contributing factor was that the F-16 pilot did not "see and avoid" and stay "well clear" of the C-130 as required by regulation. This was mitigated, however, by the pilot's statement that he could not see the C-130. The DoD Inspector General's review of the original report confirmed that air traffic control was a major factor in the accident. However, it also concluded that the report failed to adequately inquire into the action of the F-16 pilot. The Secretary of the Air Force directed a further investigation into this issue.

The new investigation team looked at all the issues that had been considered mitigating factors for the F-16 pilot. They confirmed that the flight paths of his aircraft and the C-130 made it impossible for him to see the C-130 for all but 12 seconds after he started a simulated flame out maneuver and that during that 12 seconds, the camouflage-painted C-130 was nearly impossible to see against the forested terrain.

The investigation team found that the F-16 pilot received confusing tower transmissions. In addition, after he heard the call, "C-130 traffic short final on the go," he had 17-20 seconds (excluding reaction time) during which he could have made adjustments to his flight path; however, immediately following this transmission, he was cleared to land by the air traffic controllers. The new investigation team found that after the confusing tower communications, the pilot did not ask the tower about the position of the other aircraft and did not stop flying the SFO maneuver in order to look for the traffic.

The commander of the 9th Air Force at Shaw AFB, S.C., will review the accident investigation report to determine whether any disciplinary, administrative or other actions are appropriate.

This information came from a web site called ARMY.CA

10th anniversary of crash at Pope AFB

Memorial service commemorates disaster
By Kevin Maurer, Staff writer
Published on: 2004-03-24

Ten years ago, Lt. Col. Bill Wanovich was supposed to complete his first jump as a primary jumpmaster. Instead, he saw his comrades consumed by a fireball before they got off the ground.

Tuesday was the 10-year anniversary of the crash at Pope Air Force Base that killed 24 paratroopers from the 82 nd Airborne Division.

The soldiers were killed when an F-16D Fighting Falcon jet collided with a C-130E Hercules airplane over Pope. The collision caused the fighter jet to crash into a parked C-141 Starlifter aircraft near Green Ramp, the area where paratroopers wait before boarding planes. The explosion caused a fireball that swept over the paratroopers who were waiting to jump. The accident was the worst peacetime loss of life for the 82 nd since World War II.

The 82 nd Airborne Division held a memorial ceremony Tuesday morning honoring the paratroopers who died. The ceremony was at the 82 nd 's Division Memorial Chapel. About 200 paratroopers and family members attended.

An M-4 rifle, boots and helmet were set up in front of the regimental colors for the 504 th Parachute Infantry Regiment and the 505 th Parachute Infantry Regiment. The 82 nd 's colors stood in the middle. A single set of dog tags hung from the trigger guard.

Command Sgt. Maj. Abdo F. Zacheus read the names of the paratroopers who died in the crash. The 82 nd Airborne Chorus sang two songs, ''Last Full Measure of Devotion" and ''Amazing Grace." Seven paratroopers from Company A, 2 nd Battalion, 505 th fired three volleys honoring the dead. The ceremony ended when Sgt. Travis Anderson, a bugler with the 82 nd band, played taps.

Col. Karl R. Horst, chief of staff of the 18th Airborne Corps and Fort Bragg, gave the commander's remarks. He said that after the accident, Green Ramp became sacred ground.

''There is not a single time I make a trip to Green Ramp that I don't think of the accident," he said.

Horst was commander of 2 nd Battalion of the 325 th Airborne Infantry Regiment at the time of the accident. He said it was a typical spring day in North Carolina.

Horst was on the range training with his troops when the crash occurred. He remembers seeing the dark smoke plume. A few minutes later, Horst got word of the accident and sent his medics to the scene.

He said the paratroopers responded like it was a combat situation, and their superb training saved a lot of lives.

A sudden fireball

''This accident could have been a lot worse," he said.

Wanovich was assigned to the 2 nd Battalion of the 504 th Parachute Infantry Regiment. He said once the fighter crashed, there was little reaction time. The fireball ''was on us so quickly," Wanovich said.

After the crash, the soldiers did not run from the fire. Instead, they ran into it to save their comrades, Wanovich said. He remembers seeing paratroopers breaking apart a sign to use as a makeshift backboard to transport the wounded.

Like a lot of the survivors, Wanovich said he makes a point of remembering his fallen comrades every year. When he can, he tries to go out to Green Ramp around 2 p.m., when the accident happened.

While he will never forget what happened, the accident did not make it harder for him to jump.

''It was a very unique thing. The plane could have come down anywhere. You don't expect that it will happen again," Wanovich said.



Pope Crash Deaths

Soldiers who died as a result of an airplane crash at Pope Air Force Base on March 23, 1994:

Capt. Christopher D. Dunaway, HQ and HQ Company, 2 nd Battalion, 504 th Parachute Infantry Regiment
Capt. Kenneth J. Golla, HQ and HQ Company, 504 th Parachute Infantry Regiment
Staff Sgt. Charles W. Elliott, Delta Company, 2 nd Battalion, 504 th Parachute Infantry Regiment
Staff Sgt. Daniel Camargo, Alpha Company, 2 nd Battalion, 504 th Parachute Infantry Regiment
Staff Sgt. Daniel E. Price, Bravo Company, 2 nd Battalion, 505 th Parachute Infantry Regiment
Staff Sgt. Harry L. Momoa Jr., Charlie Company, 2 nd Battalion, 505 th Parachute Infantry Regiment
Staff Sgt. Mark G. Gibson, Bravo Company, 2 nd Battalion, 505 th Parachute Infantry Regiment
Staff Sgt. Waddington Sanchez, HQ and HQ Company, 2 nd Battalion, 505 th Parachute Infantry Regiment
Staff Sgt. Alan D. Miller, HQ and HQ Company, 2 nd Battalion, 504 th Parachute Infantry Regiment
Staff Sgt. James C. Howard, HQ and HQ Company, 2 nd Battalion, 504 th Parachute Infantry Regiment
Sgt. Alexander P. Bolz, Alpha Company, 2 nd Battalion, 504 th Parachute Infantry Regiment
Sgt. James M. Walters Jr., Alpha Company, 2 nd Battalion, 504 th Parachute Infantry Regiment
Sgt Gregory D. Nunes, Delta Company, 2 nd Battalion, 504 th Parachute Infantry Regiment
Sgt. Vincent S. Strayhorn, HQ and HQ Company, 2 nd Battalion, 504 th Parachute Infantry Regiment
Sgt. Gustavo Gallardo, HQ and HQ Company, 2 nd Battalion, 504 th Parachute Infantry Regiment
Spc. Martin R. Lumbert, Delta Company, 2 nd Battalion, 504 th Parachute Infantry Regiment
Spc. Matthew J. Zegan, HQ and HQ Company, 2 nd Battalion, 504 th Parachute Infantry Regiment
Spc. Sean M. Dixon, Charlie Company, 2 nd Battalion, 504 th Parachute Infantry Regiment
Spc. Bee Jay Cearley, HQ and HQ Company, 2 nd Battalion, 504 th Parachute Infantry Regiment
Pfc. Andrew J. Jones, Alpha Company, 2 nd Battalion, 504 th Parachute Infantry Regiment
Pfc. Paul B. Finnegan, Delta Company, 2 nd Battalion, 504 th Parachute Infantry Regiment
Pfc. Tommy Caldwell, HQ and HQ Company, 2 nd Battalion, 504 th Parachute Infantry Regiment
Pvt. Mark E. Fritsch, Delta Company, 2 nd Battalion, 504 th Parachute Infantry Regiment
Pvt. Phillip J. Harvey, Delta Company, 2 nd Battalion, 504 th Parachute Infantry Regiment




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