• Published
  • By Retired Lt. Col. NED LINCH
  • 12th Air Force and Air Forces Southern Command at Davis-Monthan Air Force Base, Ariz.
Listed below are findings from actual mishaps in which aircrew members were pressing the limit and caused a serious accident for no reason. In these cases, electing to continue, despite the warning signs, led to worse situations. The mission was not accomplished, and we only put people and equipment in harm's way.

  • All warning systems were screaming at the pilot to pull up, but he elected to continue the attack into the ground.
  • The supervisor of flying notified the crew that sparks were coming from the right side of the aircraft, and tire remnants were found on the runway. However, all indications were good in the cockpit so they elected to continue. Significant damage was found on one of the engines after landing.
  • The master caution light and multiple caution lights were illuminated; but the pilot didn't perceive them to be an issue, so he elected to continue to another engine mishap.
  • The crew didn't think the thunderstorm activity was that bad and elected to continue. Significant damage to the aircraft was the end result.
  • The pilot was fatigued beyond his physical limits, but he elected to continue and experienced Type III spatial disorientation that took his life.
  • The crew felt a rumble, heard a pop and noticed a bang; however, all looked fine on the instruments. So they elected to continue until the engine came apart.
  • After a firm landing, the crew noticed a vibration as they taxied, so they continued taxiing the jet versus stopping. This caused significantly more damage to the aircraft.
  • The ground crew noticed a fireball coming from one of the engines. The crew was notified by the supervisor of flying; however, all indications were normal in the cockpit. So they elected to continue until the engine completely failed, and they were further away from the base.
  • The crew failed to get a weather update, ran their fuel below divert fuel and had to enter a thunderstorm to land, causing lightning and hail damage to the aircraft.
  • The crew elected to continue with excessive fatigue and lost focus when it was time to land. They forgot the gear despite all the warning systems screaming at them.
  • The crew and maintenance decided a bad tire could make it through a couple of more landings. The flight safety NCO recommended changing the tire; however, the crew elected to continue without swapping it out. The tire disintegrated on takeoff causing engine foreign object damage and other damages.