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.