Iraq C-130 Crash Photos

Forwarded to me are these photos of a C-130 crash in Iraq, with a narrative:

“A lack of communication”
Last week one C-23 Sherpas flew into a US operated airfield in Iraq during the day and saw there was construction equipment on the runway. Yet there was no NOTAM (notice to airmen). A trench was being dug in the runway, and it was not marked. It’s a long runway and they just landed beyond the construction. They filed a safety hazard report that was immediately forwarded to our higher headquarters and to the Air Force wing based here.

Well, it seems the construction continued and still was not marked or NOTAMed or anything. A C-130 landed on the runway the night of the 29th and didn’t see the construction. It wound up going through what is now a large pit on the runway. A few pictures are attached. The C-130 was totalled.

There were several injuries to the crew and the few passengers that were on board but luckily nobody was killed. Quite the set of failures somewhere in the system regarding this improper construction and no notifications about it.

the Big Picturethe left viewthe right view

rear viewtire tracks and aluminum
I have used photoshop to lighten all but the overview images, as a lot of detail was lost in the dark. No other alterations were made.


  1. That’s incredible!

    Incredible that no one was hurt, but more incredible that it happened in the first place.

    Although in the context I’m leery of the phrase “U.S. operated.”

    I used to deploy to airfields like this with an Air Mobility Command’s TALCE (Tanker / Airlift Control Element). A TALCE

    is comprised of approximately 100 people up to 500+ depending on the mission and is usually commanded by a rated pilot or navigator 0-5 / Lt. Col. They are made up of tower guys, loaders, ground power, ground marshallers, schedulers, cops, Force Protectors (me) and Air Traffic Controllers, plus a lot of other folks.

    One of the reasons TALCEs exist is to prevent the kinds of screw-ups that happen on poorly maintained strips in the various S***Holes we always seem to operate in.

    For this situation to exist without the TALCE filing NOTAMS, putting ?closed runway? markers up and filing a lot of other more technical reports to the AMC, the theater DIRMOBFOR (Director of Mobility Forces) and DoD is, IMO, inconceivable.

    That?s why I wonder about the phrase ?U.S. operated.? Does that mean USAF G.I.s on the ground or possibly a contractor operated facility? I will feel my legacy is impugned if this happen on the watch of a proper TALCE.

    Another thing. Look at the pictures of the 130. This ain?t your average ?trash hauler.? It?s tricked out with sensors and antennas all over. It?s been a few years but I think this is the same as this

    Which, I believe is a MC-130 E or H model or variant thereof, it?s been awhile.

    That hole cost Uncle some big damn bucks!

  2. P.S. On closer examination, the photo I posted turned out to be the EXACT same aircraft, ID number 0012!!! damn I’m good!

    more here, the 130 was highlighted in an article of fixing and getting aircraft back to the warfighters. They ain’t gonna fix this puppy though!!!

  3. Jim,
    Excellent work! I tried for about 20 minutes to find some sort of “photo comparisons of C-130 models”, but there are so many different models I was unable to find it. Well done!

    I agree this wasn’t any ordinary C-130, just from the cartoon nose. I’ll bet there’s some electronics salvaged before it goes to the great recycling bin in the sky.

  4. Alan,
    Don’t beat yourself up, I had an advantage in that I was pretty sure it was one of the “exotics” 130’s that I worked with i.e. MC-130 E or H “Talon series” or EC series of C&C birds and just googled till I found the right one.

    I was pretty damn surprised when I realized the PR article about the repaired birds was the same aircraft!!!

    Sometimes even a blind chicken get a worm.


  5. hi dude!
    your post made it – they took the information and made an article in one of the most famous german online magazines out of it,1518,337332,00.html

  6. congratulations, your (or your buddy’s?) pictures have even made it to, the largest and probably most popular german online-source for news.
    the image tags led me on to your blog, which i like very much! keep up the good work! :)

    greetings from germany!

  7. This is a MC-130H “Combat Talon II” With the new DIRCM Mod that’s being installed on these aircraft. It’s from Hurlburt Field, Florida. AFSOC assett, worth approximately 155 million bucks.

  8. Anonymous says:

    “U.S. Operated” does not mean “USAF Operated”. It does not even mean “U.S. Military Operated.” There are many strips of runway used by AFSOC MC-130 aircraft which are U.S. operated but not USAF operated. TALCEs are primarily to support large scale airlift operations, and are not required for the small scale operations of Air Force Special Ops.


  1. Around The Ring

    A daily feature in which we highlight a member site from the MilBlogs Webring. Grunt Doc has two posts that caught my attention. First this one, highlighting one of my pet peeves – a legacy media that doesn’t understand that…

  2. MilBlogs Home

    THE POST EXCHANGE: I’ve asked my fellow MilBloggers to submit “notable posts” they’ve written in the recent past for inclusion here, with a quick summary in their own words. I’ve taken the liberty of linking to some of their…


    THE POST EXCHANGE: I’ve asked my fellow MilBloggers to submit “notable posts” they’ve written in the recent past for inclusion here, with a quick summary in their own words. I’ve taken the liberty of linking to some of their…

  4. MilBlogs Archive Jan 05′

    01/30/05 The Military Family Network Grunt Doc is getting the word out that Help is urgently needed for combat Marine veteran, Lance Cpl. Christopher R. LeBleu, a native of Lake Charles, La. He is currently in very critical condition in…

  5. GruntDoc says:

    Jet Blue Nosegear Landing Pictures

    JetBlue flight 292 landed on September 22, 2005 with its nosegear turned 90 degrees to the direction of travel, and proceeded to have an entirely safe and spectacularly uneventful landing. Here are some photos from the nosegear after removal from…