Pacific Air Forces officials released the results Jan. 21 of its investigation into a May 28, 2013, F-15C Eagle aircraft accident that occurred east of Kadena Air Base, Japan.
Gen. Hawk Carlisle, the Pacific Air Forces commander, directed an investigation into the incident.
The accident investigation board found clear and convincing evidence the cause of this accident was the aircraft failing to respond to the pilot’s flight control inputs due to a failure in the aircraft’s hydro-mechanical flight control system. Additionally, the Pitch Roll Channel Assembly provided inputs to the flight control surfaces not commanded by the aircraft pilot. The investigation also found by a preponderance of evidence that the pilot had limited time for malfunction analysis and a lack of simulator emergency procedure training for the malfunction in the hydro-mechanical flight control system also substantially contributed to the accident.
The incident occurred as the pilot was on a training mission as part of a two-ship formation. After executing take off, airspace entry and two flight training engagements without incident, the pilot attempted to rejoin with the lead pilot, but the aircraft no longer responded to his flight control inputs. At approximately the same time, the pilot noticed the hydraulic, yaw, roll, and pitch control augmentation system warning lights were illuminated. The pilot was unable to recover the aircraft from a left descending spiral for more than 20 seconds, and ejected at 4,500 feet above sea level as the aircraft crashed into the Pacific Ocean approximately 60 miles east of Kadena AB.
Col. Terry Scott served as the Accident Investigation Board president. He is the vice commander of the 15th Wing at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam. The colonel is a command pilot with more than 3,900 flight hours.