Losses and Aviation Safety

Shocking video Shows DHC-4 Caribou Crashing after Take Off with Controls Locked

The shocking footage in this post 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.

The shocking footage in this post 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.

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 was designed to provide military operators with a twin-engine STOL cargo transport aircraft with greater capacity than the Otter. The type also offered a rear loading capability.

The prototype DHC-4 Caribou (CF-KTK-X) was flown for the first time on Jul. 30, 1958.

Significant users included the US Army / USAF (159 CV-2 / C-7), Australia (31 aircraft serving until 2009), Spain (35 aircraft), India (20 + 4 ex-Ghana); Canada (9); Ghana (8); Kenya (6). A smaller number of aircraft were delivered for commercial operations world-wide. In 1966, the US Army relinquished its Caribou fleet to the US Air Force in exchange for the removal of controls on its use of rotary wing aircraft (helicopters).

Some DHC-4 Caribou aircraft were captured by the North Vietnamese and stayed in service with that country well into the 1970’s.

The last aircraft in military service was Caribou (A4-140) in Australia which was eventually demobbed in November 2009.  Some 32 nations around the world employed the aircraft in military roles.

Some aircraft have now been modified to turboprop power (two PWC PT6A-67T) by Pen Turbo Aviation and remain active in civilian and commercial hands.

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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