Date & Time: Oct 29, 2009 at 1909 LT
Type of aircraft:
Lockheed C-130 Hercules
Operator:
Registration:
1705
Flight Phase:
Flight
Survivors:
No
Schedule:
McClellan AFB - McClellan AFB
MSN:
4993
YOM:
1984
Crew on board:
7
Crew fatalities:
7
Pax on board:
0
Pax fatalities:
0
Other fatalities:
0
Total fatalities:
7
Circumstances:
While performing a SAR mission for a 12 foot boat that was missing since two days, aircraft collided with a Bell AH-1 Suber Cobra from the US Marine Corps. Both machines crashed into the sea and all occupants were missing. SAR were abandoned on 01NOV2013 as no trace of Hercules and Cobra were found. It appears that Cobra's crew was taking part of an exercise in the same area where the Hercules' crew was completing his SAR mission. At the time of the accident, Cobra had its anticollision light and IFF transponder switched off.
Causes:
USAF and US authorities concluded that no single factor or individual act or omission was the cause of the collision. Investigations concluded that it was the consequence of a tragic confluence of events, missed opportunities, and procedure/policy issues in an airspace where most aircraft fly under a "see-and-avoid" regime.
A contributory factor was that FACSFAC San Diego did not provide operational priority to the crew of the Lockheed Hercules.