Pilot Error Caused F-22 Accident at Tyndall

An F-22 was forced to make a belly landing during a training sortie on May 31 at Tyndall AFB, Fla., due to the student pilot’s failure to advance the aircraft’s engines to military power before he initiated landing gear retraction, Air Education and Training Command officials announced Thursday. The incident occurred during a touch-and-go landing at the northwest Florida base, which is home to the Air Force’s F-22 schoolhouse. “Without sufficient thrust, the aircraft settled back to the runway, landing on its underside,” skidding along the runway to a stop, states the AETC release, dated Nov. 14, that cites the findings of the command’s accident investigation board. The pilot, assigned to Tyndall’s 43rd Fighter Squadron, “was able to safely exit the aircraft, suffering only minor injuries,” states the release. However, the Raptor suffered damage that will take an estimated $35 million to repair. A Tyndall spokesman previously told the Daily Report that the student pilot was on only his second solo F-22 flight when the mishap occurred.