Bureau of Aircraft Accidents Archives
Bureau d'Archives des Accidents d'Avions

Crash of a Fairchild R4Q-1 Flying Boxcar off Naha: 26 killed

Accident description

  • Mar 7, 1958 at 1945 LT
  • 128741
  • Landing (descent or approach)
  • Military
  • No
  • Airport (less than 10 km from airport)
  • Subic Bay – Naha
  • 10570
  • 1950
  • Naha, Okinawa
  • Japan
  • Asia
  • 7
  • 7
  • 19
  • 19
  • 0
  • 26
  • The crew left Subic Bay (Cubi Point NAS) bound for Naha, in formation with a reconnaissance Douglas AD-6 Skyraider registered 135350 and carrying one pilot. While approaching Naha Airport, at an altitude of 1,500 feet, both aircraft collided and crashed into the sea about 6,5 km from the airfield. All 26 occupants were killed as well as the Skyraider's pilot.
  • It was determined that the pilot of the Skyraider may have lost control of his aircraft following atmospheric turbulences in marginal weather conditions. Also, it is believed he failed to follow several procedures while flying in formation probably after suffering a spatial disorientation combined to an intense fatigue. Experts consider that the crew of the Flying Boxcar also have a certain part of responsibility because he failed to observe a sufficient safe distance between both aircraft and failed to prevent any possible collision. Following this accident, all crew must observe a minimum safe distance of 1,000 feet while flying in formation.