Defense

January 31, 2018
 

MQ-1B accident investigation report released

Crew error and datalink issues caused an MQ-1B to crash Feb. 2, 2016, in the U.S. Central Command area of responsibility, according to an Air Combat Command Abbreviated Accident Investigation Board report released Jan. 30, 2018.

The MQ-1B was assigned to the 432nd Wing at Creech Air Force Base, Nev., and operated by a launch and recovery element from the 414th Expeditionary Reconnaissance Squadron at a deployed location in the AOR. The remotely piloted aircraft was conducting a combat support mission at the time of the incident.

The board president found by a preponderance of the evidence the cause of the mishap was the failure to execute the checklist procedure for a loss of usable C-band downlink above 2,000 Feet AGL, leading to ill-informed control inputs and a subsequent unrecoverable departure from controlled flight. The board president also indicated the underperforming turbocharger of the RPA was a distraction for the pilot and sensor operator, which substantially contributed to the failure to follow checklist procedures.

The underperforming turbocharger was identified during the flight, leading to the decision for the RPA to return to base. During the descent, the launch and recovery element experienced degraded video and telemetry, indicative of a degraded C-band datalink. This led to the heads up display information to be unreliable to make informed control inputs to the RPA. The pilot and sensor operator continued to enter commands, but caused the RPA to execute a left yaw and roll, which resulted in a departure from controlled flight.
The RPA entered into an unrecoverable spin leading to the crash.

The estimated cost of the aircraft and its munitions was $4.1 million.




All of this week's top headlines to your email every Friday.


 
 

 

Headlines – February 23, 2018

News Lockheed filed a pre-award protest of U.S. Air Force‘s Huey replacement competition. Here‘s why – The U.S. Air Force hasn’t chosen a winner for its UH-1N Huey replacement contest, but Sikorsky — a Lockheed Martin subsidiary and one of the three companies vying for the contract — has already filed a protest with the...
 
 

News Briefs – February 23, 2018

Pentagon says ‘soon’ on 1st Guantanamo transfer under Trump The Pentagon will miss a deadline to send a prisoner from Guantanamo home to Saudi Arabia, but an official says the transfer may occur soon. Ahmed Haza al-Darbi pleaded guilty in 2014 before a military commission at the U.S. base in Cuba to charges that included...
 
 
UTC Aerospace Systems photograph

Air Force selects UTC Aerospace Systems DB-110 for multi-nation foreign military sales acquisition

UTC Aerospace Systems photograph UTC Aerospace Systems DB-110 Airborne Reconnaissance System pictured onboard an F-16. UTC Aerospace Systems, a unit of United Technologies Corp., announced Feb. 21 that it has been awarded an in...