Pilot Error Cited in T-6 Mishap

Air Force investigators have determined that instructor pilot error led to the crash of a T-6A trainer aircraft on Sept. 24, 2010, near Laughlin AFB, Tex. During formation flight training, the instructor pilot, flying with a student, inadvertently shut down the airplane’s single engine, according to the newly released findings of Air Education and Training Command’s accident investigation board. This pilot then “incorrectly executed” procedures for engine restart, resulting in “catastrophic” engine damage, stated AETC officials in a release. Since the instructor and student were “overly focused on restarting the engine,” they missed the opportunity to attempt a forced landing at an auxiliary airfield, they said. Both ejected from the aircraft; one of them sustained a significant back injury during ejection. The accident resulted in the aircraft’s total loss—about $5 million—and incidental damage to a fence on private property.