Dec 12, 1985 Gander Crash of Arrow Flight 1285 kills 101st Brigade



Didnt see this on the forum last week, it has deep meaning to me:

Arrow Air Flight 1285 was a McDonnell Douglas DC-8-63CF jetliner, registered N950JW, which operated as an international charter flight carrying U.S. troops from Cairo, Egypt, to their home base in Fort Campbell, Kentucky, via Cologne, Germany and Gander, Newfoundland. On the morning of December 12, 1985, shortly after takeoff from Gander en route to Fort Campbell, the aircraft stalled, crashed, and burned about half a mile from the runway, killing all 256 passengers and crew on board. [1]

The accident was investigated by the Canadian Aviation Safety Board (CASB), which determined the probable cause of the crash was the aircraft's unexpectedly high drag and reduced lift condition, most likely was due to ice contamination on the wings' leading edges and upper surfaces.[2] A minority report stated that the accident could have been caused by an onboard explosion of unknown origin prior to impact.[3]


The Brigade was returning form the Sinai Peacekeeping mission. With them were 12 soldiers from my unit (I was in a support battalion). They were returning home in time for Christmas, and even though the Canadian Air traffic board rulled it an iciing incedent, there are still those (I among them) that believe a small explosive device was the cause. We may never know.



Sorry that such an important story was missed AB.

Thats a big part of the Division gone in an accident.

Can you say more on the suspected bomb or is it hush hush. All good if you can't bro.


There was un checked cargo loaded onto the air craft in Germany, yet no one was able to produce a manifest of what was on it. Coupled with some peculiar wreckage parts that showed internal stress of a cargo door. Definately iciing had a contributing factor to the crash, that and the lack of rest the flight crew recieved. The loss of the crash lead to a rewriting of transportation policy the military uses, most notebaly the fact that an entire unit will not be loaded on a single aircraft.


FGM Colour Sergeant
Tacoma, Washington State, USA
While in the army in the 70's (72-79) I had said something like that would happen. I still beleive it was a act of terrorism. Every 4th of july I say a prayer for the 26 in my cavalry unit who lost their lives. 6 on my UH1H that I was to fly on that afternoon. I was infantry and 3rd bird was the ship I was assigned to. Airmobile. The Cold War Cost lives too.


I had just arrived in Korea when this crash happened. My squad leader knew alot of guys that died in this crash. Even a peacetime military has its dangers.