Losses and Aviation Safety

DHC-4 with Controls Locked: video shows Caribou crashing after a Poor Preflight

The Canadian DOT concluded that the control locks were still locked when the DHC-4 Caribou took off.

DHC-4 Caribou Crashing after Taking Off with Controls Locked.

The shocking footage (posted by baronbvplegacy YouTube channel) in this article is the result of A Poor (or no) Preflight: a crew of three was on board the DHC-4 Caribou, and no one checked the controls free and clear before starting t/o roll. It hurts to watch this video, but it’s a dramatic reminder that there really are good reasons to do a thorough preflight and to make sure the controls are free.

DHC-4 Caribou with Control locks were still locked

This happened just north of Winnipeg, and the DHC-4 aircraft was the first version with PT-6-67 Turboprops. (‘Modernized’ Caribou.) The Canadian DOT concluded that the control locks were still locked when the aircraft took off.

According to the video description it is physically impossible to advance the throttles (past 1800 RPM) aboard the Caribou with the gust-lock in — but this aircraft had been modified (still Restricted Category) and the throttle quadrant was not properly rigged to accommodate the throttle levers for the turbine engines.

The DHC-4 Caribou

The De Havilland Aircraft Company of Canada DHC-4 Caribou was a twin-engine, short takeoff and landing (STOL) utility transport built by De Havilland Aircraft of Canada, Ltd. It was used primarily for tactical airlift missions from short, unimproved airstrips in forward battle areas. It could carry either 26 fully equipped paratroops, 20 litter patients, or more than three tons of equipment.

The Caribou made its first flight in 1958.

The US Army was DHC-4 largest operator

The US Army was the largest operator of the DHC-4 Caribou. In 1961 De Havilland delivered the first 22 out of a total of 159 C-7s to the Army. Originally designated AC-1, the aircraft was redesignated CV-2 in 1962, and it retained that designation for the remainder of its Army service.

In January 1967, when responsibility for all fixed-wing tactical transports was transferred to the US Air Force, the Caribou received the designation C-7. During the Southeast Asia War, the Caribou’s STOL capability made it particularly suitable for delivering troops, supplies, and equipment to isolated outposts.

Dario Leone

Dario Leone is an aviation, defense and military writer. He is the Founder and Editor of “The Aviation Geek Club” one of the world’s most read military aviation blogs. His writing has appeared in The National Interest and other news media. He has reported from Europe and flown Super Puma and Cougar helicopters with the Swiss Air Force.

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