Tue, Jul 01, 2003
March Mishap: Complacency Contributed
Air Force investigators have
determined that pilot error caused a T-38A Talon to crash March 8 near Eglin Air Force
The pilot ejected from the aircraft and
sustained minor injuries. The aircraft, assigned to the 7th Combat
Training Squadron at Holloman AFB (NM), was part of a two-ship
cross-country navigation/instrument proficiency training mission at
the time of the accident.
According to the Air Combat Command accident investigation
report released June 27, the cause of the mishap was the pilot's
failure to adequately monitor his airspeed during the final
approach to landing. On final approach to Eglin AFB, the flight
leader directed the wingman, the mishap pilot, to slow to final
approach airspeed while he flew at a higher airspeed to obtain the
required spacing between aircraft for landing. The mishap pilot
then permitted his airspeed to decrease to the point that the
aircraft stalled and crashed short of the runway.
According to investigators, substantial evidence showed that
complacency contributed to the mishap. Neither pilot adequately
assessed the challenges presented by the weather, and both made
poor decisions leading to the mishap.
The aircraft, which was destroyed in the crash, was valued at
$3.8 million. Two houses were also substantially damaged. There
were no injuries to anyone on the ground.
[Thanks to Air Combat Command News Service --ed.]
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