Combination of Events Caused F-15C Mishap

Air Force accident investigators have determined that a combination of landing gear malfunctions and assessment errors by the pilot led to an F-15C making a hard landing at Tyndall AFB, Fla., on Nov. 13, 2008. The mishap caused about $1.25 million in damage to the aircraft, which was assigned to the base’s 95th Fighter Squadron, and cost about $37,000 in other damages and cleanup efforts. The pilot was not injured. According to the findings of Air Education and Training Command’s accident investigation board (AIB executive summary), the F-15C took off that day to participate in a four-ship air-to-air training mission. But the aircraft’s landing gear failed to retract due to a wiring malfunction. The pilot did not follow a checklist step for how to deal with the situation, which then led to a series of subsequent miscalculations that caused him ultimately to land at a high speed and lower angle of attack than normal. When the F-15’s anti-skid brake system failed, the pilot, as a last resort, lowered the aircraft’s hook, but the aircraft still overran the runway and all paved surfaces. (Randolph report by Capt. John Severns)