Monday, September 28, 2009

Pilot error caused fatal F-16 crash

Pilot error caused fatal F-16 crash: "Inexperience and disorientation during a night training flight led to the fatal crash June 22 of an F-16 Fighting Falcon in Utah, an Air Combat Command accident investigation board concluded in a report released Monday.Killed in the crash was Capt. George Houghton of the 421st Fighter Squadron from Hill Air Force Base, Utah.The report noted that while Houghton had 1,572 hours piloting military planes — primarily in T-6 Texans as a first-assignment instructor — he only had 156 hours in F-16s and was considered an inexperienced pilot.The fatal mission at the Utah Test and Training Range called for Houghton to fly a high-angle strafing run at night, the report said. Houghton had flown only five similar night attacks as the squadron prepared to deploy to Afghanistan.The report noted Houghton started his dive 4,000 feet above ground, about 2,000 feet lower than rules called for. Houghton could have spotted the mistake by checking cockpit readings.Because of darkness, Houghton may not have been aware of how low he was when the jet passed below 1,000 feet, the report said. There was no evidence he tried to bail out."

(Via Air Force Times - News.)

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