Civilian C-130 Crash Closes Santa Barbara Airport For 18 Hours


None of the seven people on board a civilian Lockheed C-130 were injured in the crash, which occurred late Sunday night at the Santa Barbara, California, airport after the airplane skidded off the runway. For most of a day, the Herc kept all runways at KSBA closed to traffic, though the airport authority was able to reopen one runway by Monday afternoon.

The FAA told local news media that the Herc had “hydraulic problems” soon after taking off from Santa Maria airport, 42 miles northwest of Santa Barbara; the C-130 was headed for the Phoenix area. The crew declared an emergency and diverted to KSBA. Photos of the C-130 show it having belly landed with the gear retracted, although one view shows the Herc’s left-side gear may have been partially extended. Fire broke out after landing but it was extinguished by emergency crews at the scene. 

The C-130 is owned by International Air Response, which owns a “fleet” of the Lockheeds available for use in “aerial spraying, firefighting, air drop, aerial research & development and aerial refueling,” according to the company’s website. FAA registration data shows the aircraft to be a 1957 C-130A, serial 57-520.

Marc Cook
KITPLANES Editor in Chief Marc Cook has been in aviation journalism for more than 30 years. He is a 4000-hour instrument-rated, multi-engine pilot with experience in nearly 150 types. He’s completed two kit aircraft, an Aero Designs Pulsar XP and a Glasair Sportsman 2+2, and currently flies a 2002 GlaStar.

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