Pilot Error Caused E-9 Crash

Air Force investigators have determined that pilot mistakes caused the crash of an E-9 aircraft at the Tallahassee Regional Airport in Tallahassee, Fla., on May 1. “Checklist error and cognitive task oversaturation substantially contributed to the mishap,” Air Combat Command said in a release Sept. 3 on the findings of the accident investigation board. “These factors, when combined, impaired the instructor pilot’s ability to maintain situational awareness while providing flight instruction to the upgrade pilot.” As a result, neither pilot lowered the aircraft’s landing gear for a touch-and-go maneuver during the routine training mission. There were no injuries. The E-9 and instructor pilot are assigned to the 82nd Aerial Targets Squadron at Tyndall AFB, Fla. The upgrade pilot is a civilian contractor. The E-9 is twin a turboprop aircraft based on the Bombardier de Havilland Dash-8 commuter transport that the Air Force uses to support weapons evaluation activities in the Gulf of Mexico.