A 1996 crash that killed 10 crewmen aboard an Air Force Reserve C-130 transport plane was the fault of the crew, which mistakenly allowed the plane to run out of fuel, an investigation has concluded.
Lead investigator Maj. Gen. Bobby Floyd said the Portland-based 939th Rescue Wing crew shut down fuel tanks in the wings and switched to a central fuselage tank in violation of standard procedures.The crew then apparently forgot about the switch. Several hours into the Nov. 22, 1996, flight, the four turboprop engines began to fail and the crew mistook what was happening for an electrical problem, Floyd said.
The HC-130P Hercules was still carrying more than 30,000 pounds of fuel in its wing tanks when it crashed and broke into pieces off the northern California coast, the report said.
"These are the facts as best as we can determine them. There is only one plausible scenario," Floyd said at a public meeting where the findings were released Tuesday.
The lone survivor of the crash, Tech. Sgt. Robert Vogel, walked out of the crowded meeting without talking to reporters.