Pilot Error Caused C-17 Landing Mishap

Air Force accident investigators concluded that pilot error led to a C-17 transport being severely damaged in a landing accident at Forward Operating Base Shank in Afghanistan in January, announced Air Mobility Command. “The pilot and co-pilot failed to identify that the landing distance required to safely stop the aircraft exceeded the runway length,” according to AMC’s June 11 release, which cites the findings of the accident investigation board’s report. As a result, the airlifter overran the FOB’s airstrip and impacted a berm, causing significant damage to the landing gear, undercarriage, cargo bay floor, underbelly mounted antennas, and main structural components, according to the release. Investigators concluded that the failure of ground personnel at Shank to properly assess the runway’s condition and suitability for landings also contributed to the crash. Although there were no significant injuries or damage to other equipment, AMC tallied the cost of the repairs to the aircraft alone at $69.4 million. (AIB report executive summary)