Pilot Error Caused F-16 Crash

An F-16 pilot’s failure to perceive mountainous terrain in his flight path caused the crash that took his life on April 3 in Afghanistan, announced Air Combat Command. The aircraft crashed into a mountainside 10 nautical miles southeast of Bagram Airfield; the pilot did not attempt to eject, states ACC’s Aug. 26 release that summarizes the findings in ACC’s newly issued accident investigation board report. The pilot, operating with Bagram’s 77th Expeditionary Fighter Squadron, was the flight lead of two F-16s supporting ground forces on that day. He was deployed to Afghanistan from Shaw AFB, S.C. The crash destroyed the F-16 and its on-board munitions, an estimated loss of $30.9 million, states the release. (F-16 AIB report; caution, large-sized file.)