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Thu, Mar 24, 2005

USAF Air Combat Command Releases Predator Crash Report

Crew error was the primary cause of an MQ-1L Predator remotely piloted aircraft crash during a training mission Sept. 22 at Indian Springs Air Force Auxiliary Field, Nev., according to an Air Force report released by Air Combat Command officials late, March 23.

Officials said the pilot failed to correct a high flare maneuver in time to prevent a hard landing, causing more than $2.8 million in structural damage to the aircraft, which was assigned to the 11th Reconnaissance Squadron. There were no injuries, fatalities or damage to other property, officials said.

Five significant factors that contributed to the crash included the pilot's failure to correct an unstable final approach, the sensor operators' failure to provide corrective calls for excessive airspeed and vertical speed deviations, wind shear that caused the aircraft to lose airspeed late in the flare maneuver, the pilot's failure to reduce power to keep the aircraft on the runway, and the Predator's lack of sensory cues, effecting the pilot's decision to attempt a go-around.



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