Two factors contributed to the T-6 Texan II mishap that caused an inadvertent activation of the aircraft's canopy fracturing system and some $100,000 in damages.

1. The student pilot didn't fasten his sleeves, which snagged on the canopy fracturing system handle. All aviators should fasten the sleeves on their flight suits -- not only because they can get caught up on things, but because fastening them offers better protection in the event of a fire as the suits are fire retardant. Additionally, it's required by regulation.

2. The canopy fracturing system handle is not in an ideal location. The command addressed these questionable cockpit ergonomics in May. It changed T-6 technical orders to require a safety pin be used on the canopy fracturing system handle. The pin prevents the handle from being inadvertently pulled.

-- George Chappel AETC flight safety manager