Pilot error, poor crew resource management, environmental conditions lead to MQ-9A mishap

  • Published

Today, Air Force Special Operations Command released an Accident Investigation Board report on an MQ-9A Reaper mishap that occurred Sept. 5, 2023, at Cannon Air Force Base, N.M. The AIB president found the causes of the mishap were pilot error, poor crew resource management and environmental conditions. When the aircraft touched down for landing, the pilot was unable to control the aircraft’s trajectory due to inoperable nosewheel steering and no ability to use differential braking due to impact with three runway-shoulder illumination lights during a previous touch-and-go landing. The aircraft ultimately traveled off the prepared runway surface. The nose landing gear collapsed, causing the nose of the aircraft to strike the ground and the sensor unit to detach from the aircraft and be destroyed.

The mishap resulted in no injuries, fatalities or damage to civilian property. The damage to government property was valued at $2.9 million.

The aircraft and crew were assigned to the 27th Special Operations Wing’s 12th Special Operations Squadron at Cannon AFB.

The AIB report can be viewed at https://www.afjag.af.mil/AIB-Reports/