US Air Force cites pilot error in fatal Light Attack Experiment crash

by Pat Host

The US Air Force (USAF) cited pilot error for the fatal crash in a Sierra Nevada Corp (SNC)-Embraer A-29 Super Tucano during the 2018 Light Attack Experiment (LAE).

In its report released on 22 February, the USAF aircraft accident investigation found that Navy Lieutenant Christopher Short planned and attempted to execute a right 180° turn after releasing a Raytheon GBU-12 Paveway II laser-guided bomb from the left outboard pylon. Lt Short exacerbated the aircraft’s right rolling tendency, caused by the GBU-12 release, by making right aileron and rudder inputs while applying 1.47 positive g . This resulted in a rapid roll to the right followed by an uncontrolled spiral dive.

The US Air Force (USAF) cited pilot error for the fatal crash in a Sierra Nevada Corp (SNC)-Embraer A-29 Super Tucano during the 2018 Light Attack Experiment (LAE). (Embraer)

The US Air Force (USAF) cited pilot error for the fatal crash in a Sierra Nevada Corp (SNC)-Embraer A-29 Super Tucano during the 2018 Light Attack Experiment (LAE). (Embraer)

The crew made four unsuccessful recovery attempts before initiating the ejection sequence below the A-29 flight manual’s recommended minimum altitude for uncontrolled flight. The accident investigation board’s (AIB’s) president also found that a wrong choice of action by the crew in attempting a 180° turn manoeuvre, without compensating for asymmetry of weapon release at low airspeed, substantially contributed to the mishap.

“The cause of the mishap was the mishap pilot’s overcontrol of the mishap aircraft, causing an inadvertent entry into an uncontrolled spiral dive, combined with his failure to apply adequate recovery control inputs,” the report said. “Additionally … a specific cause of the mishap pilot’s death was delayed initiation of the ejection sequence by the mishap crew, not in accordance established procedures.”

https://www.janes.com/defence-news/news-detail/us-air-force-cites-pilot-error-in-fatal-light-attack-experiment-crash

The US Air Force (USAF) cited pilot error for the fatal crash in a Sierra Nevada Corp (SNC)-Embraer ...

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