LANGLEY AIR FORCE BASE, Va. --- Increased pitch angle by the pilot landing an E-4B aircraft was the cause of the tail striking the runway May 12 at Offutt Air Force Base, Neb., according to the Air Combat Command Accident Investigation Board report released Aug. 20.
The tail of the aircraft impacted the runway between two to three feet right past the centerline. The pilot and crew brought the aircraft to a stop when they saw a bright flash at the second touchdown. The tail of the aircraft and the lower fuselage sustained damages.
According to the report, the board found major factors that significantly contributed to the accident included misperception of the operational conditions in altitude, glide path and descent rate on the aircraft's short final; breakdown in visual scan during a night landing; over-controlling the input to the yoke of the aircraft; and procedural error recovery technique that resulted in too much pitch.
Estimated repair cost is approximately $3.1 million. The pilots and crewmembers were not injured, and there was no damage to personal property. (ends)
Officials Release MQ-1B Accident Report
(Source: US Air Force; issued Aug. 20, 2010)
LANGLEY AIR FORCE BASE, Va. --- Pilot error caused the crash of an MQ-1B Predator at Southern California Logistics Airport during an April 20 training mission, according to an Air Combat Command Accident Investigation Board report released Aug. 20.
The Predator was an Air National Guard aircraft from the 163rd Reconnaissance Wing at March Joint Air Reserve Base, Calif., operated by members of the 3rd Special Operations Squadron under the supervision of instructors from the 163rd Operations Group Formal Training Unit also based at March JARB.
While no injuries occurred as a result of the accident, the aircraft and one inert Hellfire training missile were a total loss. The estimated damage to government property, including a runway light, is valued at about $3.7 million.
According to the report, the crash was caused by a student pilot's failure to recognize the aircraft's speed was too low for the weather conditions and aircraft configuration.
Insufficient speed during final approach caused a stall from which the student pilot and his instructor were unable to recover. This resulted in a hard landing that exceeded design limitations for the aircraft. Upon impact, the left wingtip dragged on the ground, causing the aircraft to leave the prepared runway surface and subsequently break apart.
Unexpectedly difficult wind conditions at the field during the landing contributed to the mishap, officials said.