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"Overlooking Runway 25 - Right, at Los Angeles International Airport"


"Happy Landings"

On The Scene - Dover Air Force Base - And Back For Tail #40059

The One From Which They - Beyond Odds - All Walked Away

Feature Date: July, 2006

Event Date: April 4, 2006

Countryman & McDaniel

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"Overlooking Runway 25 - Right, at Los Angeles International Airport"

On The Scene -- At Dover Air Force Base !

 A 2006 Countryman & McDaniel

Cargo Nightmare Prize Contender

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"Happy Landings"

The One From Which They - Beyond Odds - All Walked Away

On The Scene

Dover Air Force Base - And Almost Back

C5-B Tail #40059


A Cargo Nightmare Prize Contender

The Date: April 4, 2006

The Time: 6:30am

The Place: Dover Air Force Base, Delaware, USA -- Tail Number #40059

C5-B Galaxy In Better Days

U.S. Air Force C-5 Galaxy: Largest U.S. Aircraft


Mar. 1968: Roll out

Dec. 1969: For training

June 1970: Operational

Primary Function: Outsize cargo transport

Prime Contractor: Lockheed-Georgia Co.

Power Plant: Four General Electric TF-39 engines

Thrust: 43,000 pounds, each engine

Speed: 518 mph (.77 Mach)

Range: 6,320 nautical miles (empty)

Wingspan: 222.9 feet (67.89 meters)

Length: 247.1 feet (75.3 meters)

Height: 65.1 feet (19.84 meters)

Sensors: Automatic trouble-shooting system constantly monitors more than 800 test points in various subsystems of the C-5.

Crew: 7 (pilot, co-pilot, 2 flight engineers & 3 loadmasters)

Unit Cost: C-5A - US$152.8M (FY98 constant dollars) C-5B - US$179M (FY98 constant dollars)


C-5A - 1969,

C-5B - 1980

Current U.S. Inventory: Active force & Reserve, 126

U.S. Air Force C-5 Galaxy Cargo Compartment:

Height , 13.5 feet (4.11 meters);

Width, 19 feet (5.79 meters); l

Length, 143 feet, 9 in (43.8 meters)

Pallet Positions: 36

Maximum Cargo: 270,000 pounds (122,472 kilos)

Maximum Takeoff Weight For C-5B

769,000 pounds (348,818 kilograms) (peacetime),

840,000 pounds (381,024 kilograms) (wartime)

Fuel Capacity: 12 internal wing tanks with a total capacity of 51,150 gallons (194,370 liters) of fuel -- enough to fill 6 1/2 regular size railroad tank cars. A full fuel load weighs 332,500 pounds (150,820 kilograms).

The Future: 80% of the C-5 airframe service life remains. The Galaxy will be here for many years.

Design life : 30,000 flying hours



Prolog To Disaster -- Departure From Dover Air Force Base April 4, 2006

"A good landing is one that you can walk away from.

A great landing is one where you can use the airplane again."

-- Anonymous

A Happy Landing is one ...............................well, see below

PROLOG >> It's 6:00am Tuesday April 4, 2006--a U.S. Air Force C5-B Galaxy -- assigned to 436th Air Wing -- Tail Number #40059 -- largest aircraft in the U.S. inventory --

-- 470,000 pounds of thrust is applied -- takeoff speed of 140mph is reached --

-- and Tail Number #40059 was off on a routine mission for Kuwait with a stopover in Spain with 17 crew from Dover Air Force Base, Delaware.

Just after take-off --No. 2 engine flameout!

Aircraft commander declares emergency!

Split second flight deck decision -- return to Dover Air Force Base

C5-B Tail Number #40059 returned to Dover Air Force Base -- Emergency Landing --almost ...............

"Happy Landings"

A Glory Road Burned Into The Field

Half Mile Short of Runway

One Million Pounds of Plane Plowed The Soil At Over 200 Miles Per Hour

U.S. Air Force C5-B Tail#40059 -- Crash Landing -- Who Could Survive This?

The C5-B, at more than 6 stories tall & nearly the length of a football field, is one of the world's largest aircraft.

It's big enough to carry tanks, helicopters & trucks.

With its tanks topped off, the C-5 can hold more than 51,000 gallons of fuel. That's enough to fill 612 railroad tank cars.

"We don't know why there wasn't a fire." -- U.S. Air Force

Massive C-5B Langing Gear Folded On Impact -- Even 28 Tires Are No Help

C5-B Tail #40059 -- US$150,000,000 -- in pieces -- What About The 17 Crew?

C5-B Tail #40059 Looks Left

C5-B Tail #40059 is ripped apart.

No Fatalities-- Minor Injuries* -- Quite Amazing!

Fourteen crew taken to Bayhealth Medical Center-Kent General Hospital -- all with non-life threatening injuries.* Most released same day.

Lockheed Makes A Great Plane -- There Is No Equipment In The U.S. Army Inventory Which Can't Be Carried By This Plane

*July 26 2006 - UPDATE - Injuries of The U.S. Air Force Crew
Contrary to our orignial report in this feature, the crew has apparently suffered greatly --
"I can't get into to many details but it is going to be a long recovery which may not result in full lower body function. The AC (Aircraft Commander) received the most severe injuries; however, the cockpit crew's injuries were all severe. I wish the Air Force would look into updating the rigid steel seats that are just bolted to the floor. The spinal cord injuries received could be lessened or possibly avoided if the seats had some give in them or if they were built to collapse on an impact like this. The ironic thing is that the Flight Engineer that was standing behind the Flight Engineer getting the check ride was not injured at all. He was just tossed around a bit. Imagine that, standing in the flight deck during a crash and not receiving a severe injury. The news reported the Flight Engineer broke a leg, however that report was incorrect as well. ......... thanks for listening."
Anonymous Crewmember to The Cargo Letter

We support this brave American crew and hope to learn more of their progress to full medical recovery.

The Cargo Letter

The C-5B Is Configured With 2 gallies, Each With 18 Cargo Stations

It Was A "Happy Landing"

Massive Tail of C5-B Tail #40059 Stood 6 Stories High

The C-5 can carry 270,000 pounds of cargo almost 2,500 miles on one load of fuel.

The C-5's wingspan is 28 feet wider than a B-747 and the military jet is 16 feet longer than the civilian airliner.

Tail #40059

The C-5B Is Built For Survivability Within The U.S Air Mobility Command


The C-5 will long remain the most productive aircraft in service with U.S Air Mobility Command, with no replacement planned.

C-5 has a laudable safety record in almost 40 years of service, but future C-5 crews & maintance personal are yet to be born. 

Since 1968, there have been 21 accidents involving C-5s in which a person has been killed, the jet has been destroyed or sustained US$1M in damage. That's about one per 100,000 hours of flight, about half of the average for all military aircraft.

The most famous of the C-5 crashes occurred in April 1975, when one of the giant jets carrying orphans out of Vietnam went down while trying to make an emergency landing in Saigon after a door lock failed in flight. The crash killed 138 of the 314 aboard, including 127 children. The safety record has been stellar since then.

C5-B Tail #40059 Was Designed As A Combat Cargo Aircraft

As You Can See --All The Cargo From This Crash Is Intact.

Here Pallets From C5-B Tail#40059 Are Readied For Transloading

"A good landing is one that you can walk away from.

A great landing is one where you can use the airplane again."

-- Anonymous

A happy landing is one from which you can walk away from with 270,000 lbs. of intact cargo.

-- The Cargo Letter
"Ship Happens! ©"

 C5-B Tail #40059 Engines Are Salvaged For Use In Other Aircraft

 C5-B Tail #40059 Flight Deck Hauled Away

 C5-B Tail #40059 -- Now A Flight Simulator?

"A good landing is one that you can walk away from.

A great landing is one where you can use the airplane again."

-- Anonymous
A happy landing is one from which you can walk away from with 270,000 lbs. of intact cargo.
-- The Cargo Letter


"Ship Happens! ©"

The Dedication of This Feature Is Simple: To The 436th Air Wing, the U.S. Air Force and the families. These guys are profesionals and do not get paid enough!
"Ship Happens! ©"

SPECIAL NOTE: The historic dangers of carriage by sea continue to be quite real. Shippers must be encouraged to purchase high quality marine cargo insurance from their freight forwarder or customs brokerIt's dangerous out there.


The Scene
436th Air Wing
Wing History

Dover AFB Fact Sheets


512th Air Wing -- Liberty Wing

Dover Air Force Base

The Command

U.S. Air Mobility Command

The C5 (A&B)

Lockheed C-5 Galaxy - the history

C-5 Galaxy

C-5 Fact Sheet

C-5 Galaxy Photos

Lockheed - designer & builder of the C5 - hats off !


Many of these great shots were taken by C5-B crash pictures by Doug Curran, USAF - thanks for your service to our country

Other Recent Air Related Features From The Cargo Letter

"The Boeing Tri-Motor" - for April 2005

"One Brick Short of A Runway" - for Jan. 2005

"On A Wing & A Prayer" - Jan. 2004

"Singles Only" - visit our individual moments of transport crisis for more.

The Greatest Container Losses Of All Time - these are the grand fathers -

M/V OOCL America

M/V APL China

SPECIAL NOTE: The historic dangers of carriage by sea continue to be quite real. Shippers must be encouraged to purchase high quality marine cargo insurance from their freight forwarder or customs broker.  It's dangerous out there.
Thanks To Our Contributor For The
"Happy Landings" Feature

Our Contributor for this feature are:
Our Doc -- a man who needs no introduction to this Web page for his many contributions --but who has no identity.

Fred Rawling

Christoph M. Wahner, Esq. -- Countryman & McDaniel - LAX

Anonymous photo contributor who wishes to be anonymous* -- an industry industry insider who has provided us with many exclusive & exciting photo series in the past.

NOTE: Please Provide Us With Your Additional Information For This Loss.

EDITOR'S NOTE FOR SURVEYORS, ATTORNEYS & MARINE ADJUSTERS: The Internet edition effort of The Cargo Letter now celebrates it's 8th Year of Service -- making us quite senior in this segment of the industry. We once estimated container underway losses at about 1,500 per year. Lloyd's put that figure at about 10,000 earlier this year. Quite obviously, the reporting mechanism for these massive losses is not supported by the lines. News of these events is not posted to the maritime community. Our new project is to call upon you -- those handling the claims -- to let us know of each container loss at sea-- in confidentiality. Many of you survey on behalf of cargo interests with no need for confidentiality. Others work for the lines & need to be protected. As a respected Int'l publication, The Cargo Letter enjoys full press privileges & cannot be forced to disclose our sources of information. No successful attempt has ever been made. If a personal notation for your report is desired -- each contributor will be given a "hot link" to your company Website in each & every report. Please take moment & report your "overside" containers to us. If you do not wish attribution, your entry will be "anonymous." This will will benefit our industry -- for obvious reasons! McD

* NOTE: The Cargo Letter wants you to know that by keeping the identity of our contributors 100% Confidential, you are able to view our continuing series of "Cargo Disasters." Our friends send us materials which benefit the industry. The materials are provided to our news publication with complete and enforceable confidentiality for the sender. In turn, we provide these materials to you.  

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