All Aboard Survive C-5 Crash
American Forces Press Service
WASHINGTON, April 3, 2006 All 17 people aboard survived the crash of an Air Force C-5 Galaxy transport jet at Dover Air Force Base, Del., Air Force officials reported.
No official information was available on the condition of the survivors, who are members of Air Force Mobility Command's 436th Airlift Wing and the Air Force Reserve's 512th Airlift Wing. Both units are based at Dover.
The jet crashed short of the runway at 6:30 a.m. while attempting to return to the base shortly after takeoff, reportedly because of mechanical problems. The huge aircraft broke into three pieces -- the tail, fuselage and cockpit section.
A board of Air Force officers will investigate the crash. The last previous C-5 crash was on Aug. 28, 1990, during Operation Desert Shield, when a C-5A crashed after takeoff from Ramstein Air Base, Germany, killing 13 of the 17 people on board.
Stretching almost the length of a football field, the C-5 stands as high as a six-story building. The cargo compartment is 121 feet long, 19 feet wide and 13 feet high. The Berlin Airlift required 308 aircraft of the C-47 vintage, the military equivalent of the DC-3. Seventeen C-5s could have completed the same operation, according to a fact sheet on Dover Air Force Base's Web site.
The Wright Brothers' first flight at Kitty Hawk, N.C., in December 1903 was 102 feet shorter than the C-5's 222.9-foot wingspan.