Tue, Sep 05, 2006
But What Did Lead To Fatal Crash Still Not Clear
An inflight breakup was not to blame for an April 2005 accident
involving a Lockheed P-3B Orion aerial firebomber near Chico, CA.
That's the ruling of the National Transportation Safety Board,
which issued its Probable Cause report on the accident last
Also not to blame in the accident were any engine or control
problems, nor were weather or lighting conditions at the time
deemed unsafe by the board. The plane's three-person crew, who lost
their lives when one of the plane's wingtips impacted terrain
during a practice run, was not under the influence of drugs or
So... what did cause the accident? That will remain unclear...
with the NTSB citing "terrain clearance was not maintained while
maneuvering for undetermined reasons" as the probable cause of the
crash. The NTSB says mountainous terrain was also a factor.
As Aero-News reported, the
four-engine, former Navy anti-submarine plane was operated by
Chico-based Aero Union Corporation as an aerial water bomber. The
aircraft went down in the Lassen National Forest on April 20, 2005,
immediately following a fire retardant training drop.
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