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ASN Wikibase Occurrence # 248015
Last updated: 24 November 2021
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Time:c. 17:15
Type:Silhouette image of generic T38 model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different
Northrop T-38C Talon
Owner/operator:US Air Force (USAF)
Registration: 68-8099
Fatalities:Fatalities: 2 / Occupants: 2
Other fatalities:0
Aircraft damage: Written off (damaged beyond repair)
Location:near Montgomery Regional Airport (MGM/KMGM), Montgomery, AL -   United States of America
Phase: Approach
Departure airport:Columbus AFB, MS (CBM/KCBM)
Destination airport:Tallahassee Municipal Airport, FL (TLH/KTLH)
Investigating agency: USAF AIB
The T-38C impacted the terrain short of Runway 28 while performing an instrument approach at Montgomery Regional Airport (Dannelly Field), Montgomery, Alabama (AL). The Mishap Instructor Pilot (MIP) was a First Assignment Instructor Pilot (FAIP), and the Mishap Student Pilot (MSP) was a Japanese student pilot. Both pilots were assigned to the 14th Flying Training Wing (14 FTW) and flew with
the 50th Flying Training Squadron (50 FTS) at Columbus Air Force Base (AFB), Mississippi.
The sortie was the first leg of an off-station student cross-country mission. Due to a recent winter storm, the sortie was also the first sortie flown by the MIP and MSP in nine days.
The Mishap Crew (MC) planned to fly to Dannelly Field, execute a circling instrument approach, and then continue to Tallahassee International Airport, Tallahassee, Florida for a full stop landing.
The MSP flew the downwind leg of the circling approach configured with landing gear down and locked, 60% flap setting, and displaced 1.9 NM from the runway. The MSP was 18 knots above final turn speed and 0.4 NM wide when he began the turn to final. Due to undershooting the final turn, the MIP directed the MSP to roll out on an approximately 40-degree intercept heading to final approach and directed the MSP to slow down. The MSP retracted the throttles to idle and started a 30-35 degree left bank turn to align with the runway. As the aircraft decelerated through 164 KCAS (8 knots below final approach speed), the MIP took control of the aircraft, rolled wings level, pitched up, and then advanced the throttles to max afterburner. At this time, the throttles had been at idle for 18 seconds, and the aircraft had decelerated to 155 KCAS (17 knots below final approach speed), and was descending through 250 feet mean sea level at 1,100 feet per minute sink rate. The aircraft impacted the ground seconds later, approximately 1,800 feet from the approach end of runway 28. Both the MIP and MSP were fatally injured on impact.

The cause of the mishap was the MIPís loss of situational awareness on final approach and failure to take timely and necessary actions as a dangerous situation developed. Further, I find by a preponderance of the evidence that the MSP substantially contributed to the mishap after becoming task saturated in the traffic pattern and placing and leaving the throttles in idle. As the circling approach progressed, the MIP failed to recognize the aircraftís deteriorating performance caused by the excessive length of time the throttles were in idle.
This undetected and uncorrected action, coupled with the MSPís additional flight control inputs to align with the runway, resulted in insufficient airspeed and altitude and an increased angle of attack and sink rate, and placed the aircraft outside the parameters for safe flight.


Accident investigation:
Investigating agency: USAF AIB
Status: Investigation completed
Duration: 7 months
Download report: Final report

Revision history:

20-Feb-2021 00:52 Geno Added
20-Feb-2021 01:14 Geno Updated [Time, Nature, Source]
20-Feb-2021 01:37 Geno Updated [Time, Departure airport, Destination airport, Source]
20-Feb-2021 03:20 Captain Adam Updated [Aircraft type, Operator, Narrative]
20-Feb-2021 03:35 RobertMB Updated [Time, Operator, Destination airport, Damage, Narrative]
20-Feb-2021 10:07 isamuel Updated [Source, Narrative]
20-Feb-2021 16:13 Aerossurance Updated [Narrative]
09-Oct-2021 08:36 harro Updated [Accident report]
09-Oct-2021 08:44 harro Updated [Registration, Phase, Source, Narrative]

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