ASN logo
Last updated: 24 June 2021
Statuts:Enquête Officielle
Date:mardi 21 avril 2015
Type/Sous-type:Silhouette image of generic C30J model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different
Lockheed AC-130J Ghostrider
Compagnie:United States Air Force - USAF
Immatriculation: 09-5710
Numéro de série: 5710
Année de Fabrication: 2012
Equipage:victimes: 0 / à bord: 8
Passagers:victimes: 0 / à bord: 0
Total:victimes: 0 / à bord: 8
Dégats de l'appareil: Substantiels
Conséquences: Written off (damaged beyond repair)
Lieu de l'accident:76 km (47.5 milles) S of Valparaiso-Eglin AFB, FL (VPS) (   Etats-Unis d'Amérique)
Phase de vol: En cours de manoeuvre (MNV)
Aéroport de départ:Valparaiso-Eglin AFB, FL (VPS/KVPS), Etats-Unis d'Amérique
Aéroport de destination:Valparaiso-Eglin AFB, FL (VPS/KVPS), Etats-Unis d'Amérique
The Lockheed AC-130J Ghostrider, assigned to the USAF's 413th Flight Test Squadron, 96th Test Wing, departed controlled flight over water to the south of Eglin AFB and then was recovered and landed safely. There were no significant injuries to the crew. Post-flight engineering analysis revealed that the mishap aircraft exceeded the Design Limit Load (DLL), thus rendering it unsafe for further flight.
The mishap occurred on a medium risk flying qualities test sortie out to the edges of the flight envelope. The pilot was attempting to execute a Steady Heading Sideslip (SHSS) to the RUDDER Special Alert of the Advisory Caution and Warning System (ACAWS). This is normally a prohibited maneuver, but the Director of Operations at Air Force Materiel Command (AFMC/A3) signed a waiver approving the test team to fly to this limit. The MA exceeded 14.5° Angle of Sideslip (AoS), triggering the RUDDER Special Alert and continued increasing AoS until it departed controlled flight, eventually tumbling to an inverted position. Shortly thereafter, the aircraft recovered from the departure and the copilot took the controls to recover from the near vertical dive. In the process of the departure and recovery, the aircraft lost approximately 5,000 feet of altitude, experienced 3.19 times the normal force acceleration (Gs), and over sped the flaps by over 100 knots. The over G exceeded the aircraft's Design Limit Load.

Probable Cause:

The Accident Investigation Board (AIB) President found, by a preponderance of the evidence, the cause of this mishap was the MP's [Mishap Pilot's] excessive rudder input during the test point followed by inadequate rudder input to initiate a timely recovery from high AoS due to Overcontrolled/Undercontrolled Aircraft and Wrong Choice of Action During an Operation.

Additionally, the AIB President found, by a preponderance of the evidence, the following factors substantially contributed to the mishap: Instrumentation and Warning System Issues, Spatial Disorientation, Confusion, and the fact the test team was Provided Inadequate Procedural Guidance or Publications.

Accident investigation:
Investigating agency: USAF AIB
Status: Investigation completed
Duration: 162 days (5 months)
Accident number: Final report
Download report: Final report


Add your photo of this accident or aircraft


Les informations ci-dessus ne représentent pas l'opinion de la 'Flight Safety Foundation' ou de 'Aviation Safety Network' sur les causes de l'accident. Ces informations prélimimaires sont basées sur les faits tel qu'ils sont connus à ce jour.
languages: languages