Human Error Caused Crash

The failure of an Air Force Special Operations Command aircrew to refuel their DHC-8/Q200 transport when they had the chance during a mission from Nouakchott, Mauritania, to Bamako Mali, on Nov. 19, 2009, caused the aircraft to run out of fuel short of Bamako and crash land on an isolated airstrip in Mali, AFSOC investigators have determined. One of the six passengers suffered severe injuries and the crew, along with the other passengers, suffered at least minor injuries. The aircraft, valued at $7 million, was a total loss. The DHC-8 was assigned to the 524th Special Operations Squadron at Cannon AFB, N.M. The accident investigation board found that the aircrew, once airborne, did not divert to a suitable alternate airport early enough despite indications of a fuel shortage. Factors like insufficient planning contributed to this mishap, stated the AIB. (AIB executive summary)