Sunday, November 8, 2015

AC-130J accident report released

WRIGHT-PATTERSON AIR FORCE BASE, Ohio – An AC-130J conducting a flying qualities test over the Gulf of Mexico in April was "over G'd" and exceeded its design limit load, nullifying its airworthiness and rendering it a total loss. The value was placed at $115 million. Air Force Materiel Command released an Accident Investigation Board report for the mishap involving the Ghostrider that occurred on April 21 during a sortie 40 miles south of Eglin Air Force Base, Fla. There were no injuries and the aircraft returned to base. The incident occurred while the crew from the 413 Flight Test Squadron at Eglin was performing steady heading sideslips at an altitude of 15,000 feet. The aircraft exceeded the targeted angle of sideslip and momentarily inverted before being recovered after losing about 5,000 feet of altitude. The accident was caused by a bad decision on the pilot's part by applying "excessive rudder input during the test point followed by inadequate rudder input to initiate a timely recovery." The report also points out there were four contributing factors: instrumentation and warning system issues, spatial disorientation, confusion, and inadequate provision of procedural guidance or publications to the team. (Source: Air Force Materiel Command, 11/06/2015) Previous