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Wed, May 07, 2008

USAF Determines Rudder Failure Contributed To F-15D Accident

Binding Controls Likely Led To Loss Of Aircraft

On Tuesday, Pacific Air Forces officials at Hickam Air Force Base in Hawaii released the results of their investigation into the February 1 loss of an F-15D Eagle approximately 60 miles off of Oahu.

As ANN reported, the lone pilot onboard the two-seat aircraft was able to eject from the stricken plane. It was the fifth crash of an F-15 since May 2007, and occurred weeks after a significant portion of the Air Force's fleet of aging F-15C and D aircraft was returned to service, following fatigue inspections of fuselage support components.

The accident investigation board determined there was no clear and convincing evidence to determine a root cause for the Oahu mishap... but investigators did find sufficient evidence to conclude that both rudders failed in a mid-range position to the left, most likely due to a failure involving the Aileron-Rudder Interconnect.

This failure induced a yawing, rolling motion to the left that the pilot was unable to correct, investigators determined.

The aircraft was destroyed upon impact. The financial loss of the aircraft totaled $43,777,279. No other property damage or injuries to military members or civilians resulted from the mishap.

The aircraft was assigned to the 199th Fighter Squadron at Hickam Air Force Base and was part of a two-aircraft basic fighter maneuvers training mission, involving one-on-one offensive and defensive maneuvering.

FMI: www.af.mil

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