Incident Fairchild Republic A-10C Thunderbolt II/Warthog 80-0282, 26 Sep 2011
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ASN Wikibase Occurrence # 138784
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Time:14:45 LT
Type:Silhouette image of generic A10 model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different    
Fairchild Republic A-10C Thunderbolt II/Warthog
Owner/operator:75th FS, 23rd Wing USAF (75th Fighter Squadron, 23rd Wing United States Air Force)
Registration: 80-0282
MSN: A10-632
Fatalities:Fatalities: 0 / Occupants: 1
Other fatalities:0
Aircraft damage: Written off (damaged beyond repair)
Location:Berlin, Cook County, Georgia -   United States of America
Phase: En route
Departure airport:Moody AFB, Georgia (VAD/KVAD)
Destination airport:Moody AFB, Georgia (VAD/KVAD)
Confidence Rating: Information is only available from news, social media or unofficial sources
On 26 September 2011 The Air Force reported that a Fairchild-Republic A-10C fighter plane has crashed (after both engines stalled) in south Georgia, and the pilot bailed out.

The Air Force said in a statement that the plane crashed in Cook County, in rural south Georgia, Monday afternoon. (In fact it crashed near Berlin, Georgia: Berlin is located at 31°4′3″N, 83°37′25″W)

The statement says the pilot was taken by ambulance to Memorial Hospital in Adel for evaluation. He later was taken to the medical facility at Moody Air Force Base.

The plane crashed in a wooded area, and the sheriff's office says there did not appear to be any injuries on the ground.

According to the following extract from the summary of the official USAF report into the incident:

"On 26 September 2011 at approximately 1448 local time, the mishap aircraft (MA), an A-10C, T/N 80-0282, experienced dual engine failure during a Functional C heck Flight ( FCF) and impacted the ground approximately 20 miles north west of Moody Air Force Base (AFB), Georgia. The Mishap Pilot (MP) ejected safely and sustained no significant injuries. The MA, operated by the 75th Fighter Squadron at Moody AFB, was destroyed upon impact with the loss valued at $14,708,772.19. Environmental clean-up costs are estimated to be $150,147.50. The MA impacted on private property consisting of a waste run-off site for an unused sand quarry.

The impact left a 15-foot diameter crater, burned 5 acres of land, churned 1 acre of earth and
destroyed 15 pine trees.

An FCF is flown to ensure airworthiness after major scheduled aircraft maintenance. At 15,000 feet, during the stalls and slats checks, the MP noted that the stall warning tones were not
functioning properly. The MP elected to continue the FCF profile into the high altitude checks and under a combination of flight conditions of altitude, airspeed and angle of attack that could lead to an increased risk of aircraft stall and engine failure. There is no explicit guidance that prohibited the MP from continuing the FCF profile without a functional stall warning system. At 34,000 feet, the MP performed the high altitude checks. This was the first time the MP was performing check list items in the aircraft at 25,000 feet and above.

The MP slowed the MA for slat extension and looked over his right shoulder to observe the slats. Before the slats extended, the MP noticed the MA enter a stall with a slight right bank. The MP did an aircraft stall recovery; he then checked the engine gauges and noticed both were winding down.

The MP followed the proper procedures to attempt to recover the engines and ultimately determined that both engines had completely failed. The MP then correctly executed the procedures for a dual engine failure. The MP attempted to restart the left and right engines multiple times without success. He continued his attempts until reaching an unpopulated area and ejected from the MA.

Engineering analysis of external and internal engine parts, as well as the MP’s testimony regarding the engine gauges, suggests that both engines seized while the MP flew the MA down to the optimum altitude for an APU-assisted engine restart attempt. The MP’s FCF up grade training did not include the climb to 35,000 feet nor practising the FCF checks at altitude. In addition, the MP had no experience and insufficient training about the intricacies and possible hazards of high altitude flight without a properly functioning stall warning system. Finally, the MP mis-prioritised his tasks by checking for slat extension over preventing the MA from stalling.

The board president found by clear and convincing evidence the cause of the mishap was the MA
engines flaming out due to being flown under flight conditions where aircraft stall and engine
failure were imminent; the engines never restarted, causing the MP to eject and the MA to impact the ground. Additionally, the board president found by a preponderance of evidence that the following factors substantially contributed to the mishap:

(1) the MA engines failed to restart due to engine seizure;
(2) there was insufficient guidance for the possibility of engine seizure after high altitude engine flame-out;
(3) there is no requirement for 35,000-foot checks during FCF upgrade training;
(4) the combination of the MP’s inexperience at flying above 23,000 feet and the MA’s
malfunctioning stall warning system; and
(5) the MP misprioritised an FCF check list item during the mishap flight over preventing the MA from stalling.



Revision history:

27-Sep-2011 00:43 gerard57 Added
27-Sep-2011 00:45 gerard57 Updated [Time, Aircraft type, Operator, Departure airport, Destination airport, Source]
12-Feb-2012 12:32 Nepa Updated [Operator]
04-Dec-2013 05:09 Dr. John Smith Updated [Time, Registration, Cn, Operator, Departure airport, Destination airport, Source, Narrative]

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