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ASN Wikibase Occurrence # 248027
Last updated: 2 December 2021
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Time:08:49 LT
Type:Silhouette image of generic T38 model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different
Northrop T-38A Talon
Owner/operator:US Air Force (USAF)
Registration: 64-13304
MSN: N.5733
Fatalities:Fatalities: 0 / Occupants: 2
Other fatalities:0
Aircraft damage: Substantial
Location:Sacramento Mather Airport (MHR/KMHR), CA -   United States of America
Phase: Landing
Departure airport:Marysville-Beale AFB, CA (BAB/KBAB)
Destination airport:Sacramento-Mather Airport, CA (MHR/KMHR)
Investigating agency: USAF AIB
A pilot and instructor pilot, flying Northrop T-38A Talon 64-13304, assigned to the 1st Reconnaissance Squadron, Beale Air Force Base
(AFB), California, flew a day training mission that included practice landings at nearby Sacramento Mather Airport. During a touch-and-go landing attempt at Mather Airport, at approximately 16:48 UTC, or 08:48 Local Time, the aircraft impacted the runway without its landing gear fully extended.
The flight was planned as a single-ship training mission from Beale AFB consisting of practice maneuvers in a local military operating area (MOA), practice approaches and landings at Mather Airport and a planned return to Beale AFB. After completing practice maneuvers in the MOA, the instructor flew the aircraft to Mather Airport and executed an uneventful approach to a touch-and-go landing on Runway 22 Left (22L). The pilot then flew a second practice approach to Runway 22L
and attempted a touch-and-go landing. After the aircraft touched down the pilot initiated the takeoff portion of the maneuver, advancing the throttles and raising the landing gear lever. When the landing gear began to retract, the aircraft descended toward the runway. The pilot then briefly put the landing gear lever back down before placing the lever back up. The aircraft descended and the main landing gear (MLG) contacted the runway in a partially extended position approximately 2,320 feet from the approach end of the runway. The MLG collapsed, and the aircraft settled onto the runway. The force of the aircraft on the partially extended MLG and subsequent ground impact caused a hydraulic system failure and fire in the right MLG bay. The aircraft slid on its fuselage before coming to rest approximately 6,170 feet from the approach end of the runway. The pilots egressed the aircraft with no injuries as emergency response crews extinguished the fire.

The Accident Investigation Board (AIB) President found by a preponderance of evidence the cause of the mishap was the pilot prematurely raising the landing gear lever during the touch-and-go landing maneuver. The pilot failed to execute correct touch-and-go landing procedures, which state that the landing gear lever should be raised when “DEFINITELY AIRBORNE” and “WHEN POSITIVE RATE OF CLIMB IS ESTABLISHED.” The premature landing gear retraction resulted in the aircraft impacting the runway without its landing gear fully extended, and with no opportunity for the instructor to intervene to prevent the mishap. Additionally, the AIB President found by a preponderance of evidence the pilot’s misperception of an established positive climb rate following the touch-and-go landing attempt substantially contributed to the mishap.


Accident investigation:
Investigating agency: USAF AIB
Status: Investigation completed
Duration: 4 months
Download report: Final report

Revision history:

20-Feb-2021 14:03 gerard57 Added
20-Feb-2021 14:22 RobertMB Updated [Time, Aircraft type, Registration, Cn, Operator, Location, Departure airport, Destination airport, Source, Narrative]
20-Feb-2021 16:12 Aerossurance Updated [Operator, Narrative]
05-Jul-2021 10:08 harro Updated [Time, Narrative, Accident report]
05-Jul-2021 10:08 harro Updated [Narrative]

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