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The U.S. Air Force's C-17 fleet has had its share of Class A accidents, but until now had managed to avoid aircraft write-offs or fatalities. But the July 28 crash of a C-17 at Elmendorf AFB, Alaska, will spell the end of the streak that began in 1993 and has run over 1.6 million flight hours.Four crew members were on the C-17 assigned to the 3rd Wing, which crashed at 6:14 p.m. local time. The USAF says the airlifter was on a training mission. Official word on the fate of the four crew members has not been released, but USAF officials indicate to local media the prospects for their survival are grim.The C-17 had a lifetime Class A accident rate of 1.29 per 100,000 flights hours. Fiscal 2005 was the worst year, in that respect, with a rate of 3.80, but in fiscal 2008 the fleet avoided any Class As.
ar99, C-17, safety, USAF
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