Northwest Military Blogs: McChord Flightline Chatter

December 13, 2010 at 6:51am

AF officials release findings on Alaska C-17 fatal mishap

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JOINT BASE PEARL HARBOR-HICKAM, Hawaii (AFNS) -- Officials at Headquarters Pacific Air Forces released the results of their investigation Dec. 10 into a fatal C-17 Globemaster III aircraft mishap July 28 at Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson, Alaska.

Gen. Gary North, Pacific Air Forces commander, directed an investigation into the incident which resulted in the deaths of the four crewmembers aboard, the destruction of the $184 million aircraft and damage to part of the Alaska Railroad.

The accident investigation board found clear and convincing evidence the cause of the mishap was pilot error. The investigation revealed the pilot placed the aircraft outside established flight parameters and capabilities. During the mishap sortie, the pilot aggressively flew the aircraft in a manner inconsistent with established flight procedures, resulting in a stall. The pilot failed to take required stall recovery actions. 

Furthermore, the board concluded the co-pilot and safety observer failed to recognize or address the developing dangerous situation. As a result, the C-17 stalled at an attitude and altitude from which recovery to controlled flight was impossible.

Brig. Gen. Carlton D. Everhart II, served as the Accident Investigation Board president. General Everhart is vice commander of the 618th Air and Space Operations Center at Scott Air Force Base, Ill. The general is a command pilot with more than 4,400 flight hours in a variety of aircraft, including the C-17.

The mishap occurred as the C-17 -- tail number 00-0173 and call sign Sitka 43 -- practiced for the Arctic Thunder Air Show scheduled for the weekend of July 31 at Joint Base Elmendorf- Richardson.

For a copy of the Accident Investigation Board report, visit: http://www.pacaf.af.mil/library/aibreports/index.asp. Video footage of the mishap flight is also available at that website. The footage has been edited to cut off just prior to the aircraft's impact out of consideration and respect for the families of the deceased.    

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