This Landing Was The Pits
Accidents happen, but it certainly appears that something went off the USAF paper trail to cause an accident like this. First, we can't confirm exactly what happened here (and we'd love to hear from anyone who can) but based on the number of sources from which we obtained these photos and text, it sure looks like somebody removed a section of runway in Iraq and didn't inform the people who might expect to use it. The C-130 was landing on the night of Dec. 29 (it may have been a special-forces plane) when it hit the pit and instantly became a runway hazard itself. No one was killed but there were several injuries and the plane is a goner. Those of you with PowerPoint will want to see it with your own eyes. According to our sources, the existence of the pit had been reported earlier by the crew of another aircraft, but apparently no NOTAM was issued. The accident rated a couple of paragraphs in an American Forces Press Service report, which termed it a "landing accident." The report said 11 people were on board, there were injuries, and that an investigation is underway. Click through to download the content-unconfirmed (PowerPoint) file. It includes images. Not recommended for slower connections.