'Wake turbulence' led to C-130 J aircraft crash in India.


New York (AirGuide Features - Inside Air Travel) Wed, Apr 23, 2014 - Five officers killed as IAF's new showpiece Super Hercules crashes near Gwalior in India. The shocking crash last month of the IAF's special operations C-130 J aircraft is believed to have been caused by the transporter inadvertently flying into the wake of the lead plane during the tactical training mission, leading to a loss of control at low altitude and the accident that killed all five crew members. Preliminary findings of the detailed inquiry under way point to a "wake turbulence" incident in which the C-130 J, which was part of a two-aircraft formation practising insertion of paratroopers, stalled at a low level after hitting the wake of the lead aircraft. The findings have ruled out any technical fault and suggested that the aircraft failed to adopt a flight path to avoid the massive wake generated by the four engines of the lead C-130 J. An error of judgement by the pilot could have contributed to the incident, the findings suggest.

The probability of such a loss of control is particularly high when heavy aircraft are conducting manoeuvres close to the ground. In this case, both aircraft were flying at 300 feet above ground level and had to climb to 1,000 feet when the accident occurred. While the lead aircraft of the formation successfully climbed to 1,000 feet after the simulated "drop", the second aircraft crashed into a river bed without any warning or distress signal. This, sources said, suggests a sudden, drastic loss of control due to the turbulence generated by the lead C-130 J and is being corroborated...

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