Sun, Sep 23, 2007
Pilot Made Controlled Descent Into Ocean
A June 2007 training
accident that claimed the pilot of an Oregon Air National Guard
F-15 Eagle fighter jet was caused by spatial disorientation,
according to an Air Force review.
As ANN reported, the
aircraft, from the 142nd Fighter Wing at Portland Air Base, was
participating in a training mission when the aircraft impacted the
Pacific Ocean off the Oregon coast. The F-15 was one of eight
planes -- a mix of Eagles and F/A-18 Hornets -- participating in
The Associated Press reports military officials determined
34-year-old Major Gregory Dean Young died on impact in the ocean
about 40 miles west of Cannon Beach. Young was an experienced pilot
with more than 2,300 flight hours, including over 750 in the
Young calmly spoke with his wingman seconds before the plane
impacted... possibly indicating he did not realize he was in
danger. None of the pilot's communications indicated any signs of
In its report, the Air Force Air Combat Command headquarters
determined Young crashed as a result of spatial disorientation over
the ocean. Clear skies with only scattered clouds may have also
contributed to the problem.
The AP adds one of the mission pilots told officials he watched
as Young, who was conscious and looking up, made a controlled
descent into the ocean.
The pilot "was clearly unaware of his position and impacted the
water," the report concludes.
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