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ASN Wikibase Occurrence # 217747
Last updated: 14 January 2022
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Time:19:40 LT
Type:Silhouette image of generic T38 model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different
Northrop T-38C Talon
Owner/operator:47th FTW USAF (47th FTW United States Air Force)
Registration: 68-8152
Fatalities:Fatalities: 1 / Occupants: 2
Other fatalities:0
Aircraft damage: Written off (damaged beyond repair)
Location:Laughlin AFB, Texas -   United States of America
Phase: Take off
Departure airport:Del Rio-Laughlin AFB, TX (DLF/KDLF)
Destination airport:Del Rio-Laughlin AFB, TX (DLF/KDLF)
Investigating agency: USAF AIB
On the night of 13 November 2018, mishap instructor pilot 1 (MIP1) and mishap instructor pilot 2 (MIP2), flying T-38C tail number 68-8152, assigned to 87th Flying Training Squadron, 47th Flying Training Wing, Laughlin Air Force Base (AFB), Texas (TX), conducted a routine training sortie at Laughlin AFB with MIP1 as the pilot in command. During the sortie, at approximately 1924 local time, the mishap aircraft (MA) impacted the ground and MIP1 was fatally injured during an ejection attempt.

The mishap mission was planned and authorized as an instructor development sortie to regain rear cockpit night landing currency for MIP2. During the takeoff portion of MIP2s fifth practice touchand-go landing at Laughlin AFB, as MIP2 advanced the throttles for
takeoff, the mishap crew (MC) heard a loud buzz later determined to indicate a compressor stall in the right engine. MIP1, the aircraft commander, took control of the aircraft and continued the takeoff. MIP1 did not select maximum afterburner as the MA rolled, yawed, and drifted to the right of the runway, failing to accelerate appreciably. While continuing the takeoff, MIP1 failed to recognize aural and visual aerodynamic stall warnings and lost situational awareness regarding the MAs ground track and low height above the ground. MIP1 regained awareness when the MA was close enough to the terrain to illuminate the ground approximately one second before the MA touched down off the runway surface. MIP1 initiated a climb approximately three seconds later and commanded ejection. The MC initiated ejection at approximately 147 knots indicated airspeed, 45 degrees of right bank, with approximately 500 feet per minute descent rate. The MA impacted the ground approximately 350 feet right of the paved runway surface. MIP2 successfully completed the ejection with minor injuries. MIP1 was fatally injured when the MA impacted the ground before MIP1s ejection seat completed the ejection sequence.

The Accident Investigation Board (AIB) President found by a preponderance of evidence the cause of the mishap was the combination of: (a) an engine compressor stall during a critical phase of flight and
(b) MIP1s failure to apply necessary throttle and flight control inputs following a loss of thrust on takeoff.
Additionally, the AIB President found by a preponderance of evidence that each of the following factors substantially contributed to the mishap:
(a) the low illumination the night of the mishap and
(b) MIP1s misperception of the rapidly evolving emergency after taking control of the MA.


Accident investigation:
Investigating agency: USAF AIB
Status: Investigation completed
Duration: 9 months
Download report: Final report

Revision history:

14-Nov-2018 06:52 sinfu2a Added
14-Nov-2018 06:52 harro Updated [Aircraft type]
14-Nov-2018 07:04 sinfu2a Updated [Aircraft type, Total fatalities, Source]
14-Nov-2018 09:05 Aerossurance Updated [Time, Operator, Other fatalities, Location, Departure airport, Source, Narrative]
17-Aug-2019 17:13 harro Updated [Registration, Phase, Departure airport, Destination airport, Source, Narrative, Accident report, ]
12-Feb-2020 09:13 Iwosh Updated [Operator, Location, Operator]

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