Sat, Mar 17, 2012
Poor Weather, Low Fuel Cited In Initial Report
The accident which fatally injured blogger Neptunus Lex sent a shock through the military aviation community. In its preliminary report, the NTSB mentions poor weather and a critical fuel situation at the time of the accident, which forced Captain Carroll “Lex” Lefon, USN (ret) to attempt to divert to Reno.
NTSB Identification: DCA12PA049
Nonscheduled 14 CFR Public Use
Accident occurred Tuesday, March 06, 2012 in Fallon, NV
Aircraft: ISRAEL AIRCRAFT INDUSTRIES F21-C2, registration: N404AX
Injuries: 1 Fatal.
This is preliminary information, subject to change, and may contain errors. Any errors in this report will be corrected when the final report has been completed.
On March 6, 2012 at 0914 pacific standard time, an Israel Aircraft Industries (IAI) Kfir F-21C2 single-seat turbojet fighter type aircraft, registration N404AX, operated by Airborne Tactical Advantage Company (ATAC) under contract to Naval Air Systems Command (NAVAIR) as a civil pubic aircraft operation, crashed upon landing at Naval Air Station Fallon, Fallon, Nevada. The sole occupant pilot aboard was killed, and the airplane was substantially damaged by impact forces and fire.
The flight had departed Fallon at 0752 the same day, and attempted to return following an adversary training mission. The pilot initiated two Ground Control Approach (GCA) radar approaches to Fallon and then attempted to divert to Reno but was unable to land there as the field was reporting below minimum weather conditions. The pilot then turned back toward Fallon and stated to air traffic controllers that he was in a critical fuel state.
The pilot descended and maneuvered first toward runway 31, then toward runway 13. The airplane struck the ground in an open field in the northwest corner of the airport property and impacted a concrete building on the field. Weather at the time of the accident was reported as snowing with northerly winds of 23 knots gusting to 34 knots, and visibility between one-half and one and one-half miles.
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