Narrative:A Beechcraft T-1A Jayhawk jet trainer sustained substantial damage in a landing accident at Lubbock Preston Smith International Airport, TX (LBB). The crew suffered no significant injuries.
The instructor and pilot were both assigned to the U.S. Air Force 86th Flying Training Squadron, 47th Flying Training Wing, Laughlin Air Force Base, Texas.
The accident occurred while the crew was flying a Mission Qualification Training (MQT) flight to familiarize the pilot, as a new instructor, with local area mission procedures.
The crew was on their second flight of the day. They took off from runway 17R with the intent to fly the Localizer Approach (a non-precision approach) to runway 26, circle to runway 17R, and stay in the pattern for more approaches. The crew was aware of rainshowers in the vicinity of the airport, gusty surface winds, blowing dust, and strong winds at altitude, approximately 35-40 knots. During the circling approach, the crew elected to go-around because of the winds. As the crew turned and aligned to final approach, the airplane experienced a rapid nose down change in its pitch, and the crew felt a sinking sensation. The crew set the throttles at their maximum performance in order to gain altitude. The airplane did not respond but kept descending. The crew applied stall recovery procedures and continued to maneuver the jet toward runway 17R. The crew reported, "Major gust, major gust" on the radio to the tower just prior to impact. The airplane hit the ground, sheared off its nose landing gear, and, after traveling some distance, came to rest on its main landing gear with its nose on the ground.
Probable Cause:The AIB President found clear and convincing evidence this mishap had two main causes. First, a severe windshear in the form of a downburst hit the aircraft as it was turning onto final on the circling approach and caused the aircraft to descend rapidly and land short. Second, multiple pilot errors: ignoring warnings, poor mission planning, inattention, complacency, lack of procedural knowledge, and restricted vision, combined together to place the aircraft in the dangerous weather environment.
Loss of control
» Scramble 349
» Training jet crash-lands at Laughlin (Air Force Times, 27-5-2008)
» Aircraft accident investigation T-1A, S/N 93-0633 Laughlin AFB, Texas 21 May 2008