A Bothersome, Breezy Bounce

Wind shear combined with pilot inexperience caused the MQ-1B Predator remotely piloted aircraft landing accident at Creech AFB, Nev., in April, investigators announced on Tuesday. The student pilot was flaring the RPA for a practice landing when a sudden wind-shift caused the aircraft to lose lift on April 4. The student pushed full-throttle to compensate but failed to pull the nose up after the aircraft bounced off the runway surface per standard procedures, according to the Accident Investigation Board report. “It is highly likely the aircraft would have recovered to normal flight” if the student responded correctly, the report’s executive statement notes. Instead, the student attempted to level the aircraft, overcorrected, and bounced the RPA several times before shearing the undercarriage off. Total repair costs are tagged at $4.5 million, according to the AIB. The aircraft was assigned to the 11th Reconnaissance Squadron at Creech. (Read the abbreviated AIB report.)