Saturday, June 4, 2016

Missing data contributed to accident

Lack of flight test data was a contributing factor in an April 2015 incident that led to an AC-130J nose-diving 5,000 feet in an inverted position before the pilots could recover. That's according to an Air Force Accident Investigation Board, which said the data could have helped the pilots better understand the limits of the aircraft. Lockheed Martin declined to provide the proprietary information without a contract, and the Air Force declined to purchase it, relying instead on testing. After the incident, the Air Force decided to purchase the data. The overstressing caused $115.6 million total loss of the plane. The AC-130J based at Eglin Air Force Base, Fla., was being tested by the 413th Flight Test Squadron. The crew was performing maneuvers to collect data on the flight envelope of the aircraft. The problem occurred while the pilot performed a "sideslip," a maneuver used to aid aircraft landing in a strong crosswind. (Source: Air Force Times, 06/04/16) Previous