Pilot Error Caused A-10C Mishap

Air Force Reserve Command accident investigators found “convincing evidence” that pilot error led to an A-10C striking two cables protecting power lines running across Stockton Lake, Mo., during a training sortie on May 22, according to a command release. The pilot was able to return the A-10 to Whiteman AFB, Mo., despite “extensive damage” to its right horizontal stabilizer, vertical tail, and rudder; its left wing tip; and weapons and suspension equipment mounted under the left wing, states the Aug. 6 release, which discusses the findings of AFRC’s accident investigation board report. The lake is roughly 90 miles south of Whiteman, where the A-10 operated as part of AFRC’s 442nd Fighter Wing. Specifically, the investigators found that “the pilot’s poor judgment and lapse in flight discipline” resulted “in violation of flight rules and operating procedures relating to minimum altitudes,” states the release. For example, the pilot was too focused on a boat in the lake “and did not see the cables,” despite his flight leader’s warning, states the release. The cost to repair the A-10 was $698,858, according to the release. (For more on the mishap, see Whiteman release and Cedar County Republican report.)