WHAT CAUSED A-10C THUNDERBOLT II TO CRASH INTO POWER LINE CABLES?
By Air Force Reserve Command Public Affairs
/ Published August 26, 2014
ROBINS AIR FORCE BASE, Ga. (AFRCNS) -- Poor judgment and a lapse in flight discipline caused an A-10C Thunderbolt II to strike two cables over Stockton Lake in Missouri May 22, 2013, according to the recently released Air Force Reserve Command accident investigation board report.
The board president found the pilot's poor judgment and lapse in flight discipline resulted in violation of flight rules and operating procedures relating to minimum altitudes.
The aircraft, from the 442nd Fighter Wing, Whiteman Air Force Base, Mo., was on a two-plane, low-altitude tactical navigation training mission at the time of the mishap.
As the flight flew over the southeast branch of the lake, which is about 90 miles south of Whiteman, the pilot descended below the approved minimum altitude of 300 feet above ground level and maneuvered toward a boat that was traveling southeast on the lake.
The flight leader radioed the mishap pilot and told him the flight was approaching power lines that cross the lake. The mishap pilot acknowledged the call but continued his descent. At about 140 feet above ground level, the mishap aircraft struck two protective cables that run above the power lines crossing the lake.
The mishap pilot was able to land the aircraft at Whiteman, and the plane was towed to the base's aircraft parking ramp.
The A-10C sustained extensive damage to the right horizontal stabilizer, vertical tail and rudder; the left wing tip; and weapons and suspension equipment mounted under the left wing.
Total repair cost for the plane came in at $698,858.69. Cost to repair the cables was not known at the time of the report.