Published May 11, 2017
JOINT BASE LANGLEY EUSTIS, Va. -- A pilot’s misprioritization of checklist tasks and failure to observe aircraft warnings led to the crash of an MQ-9A Reaper remotely-piloted aircraft on the Nevada Test and Training Range June 7, 2016, according to an Air Combat Command Abbreviated Accident Investigation Board report released today.
The aircraft, valued at $11.1 million, was assigned to the 432nd Wing, Creech Air Force Base, Nevada, and was destroyed on impact. There were no injuries or damage to private property.
The MQ-9A was performing a training mission at the time of mishap. After the launch and recovery element successfully flew the aircraft to its cruising altitude, they began the process to hand over the aircraft to the mishap aircrew. Subsequently, the mishap pilot placed the aircraft in a power setting that was too low to maintain level flight. The pilot was primarily focused on checklist procedures and did not initially observe the stall warnings. Despite later power increases in an attempt to recover the aircraft, the pilot was unsuccessful.
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