Air Force Says Pilot Error Led to C-17 Crash

The Air Force has concluded that the crash of a C-17 that claimed the lives of four crew members this summer was due to pilot error, saying the pilot “placed the aircraft outside established flight parameters and capabilities.”

An official investigation reported “the pilot aggressively flew the aircraft in a manner inconsistent with established flight procedures, resulting in a stall.”

“The pilot failed to take required stall recovery actions,” the Air Force said in a statement released Friday night. “Furthermore, the board concluded the co-pilot and safety observer failed to recognize or address the developing dangerous situation. As a result, the C-17 stalled at an attitude and altitude from which recovery to controlled flight was impossible.”

The Air Force did not name the pilot or the other crew in the release.

The crash of the C-17 Globemaster III occurred July 28, 2010, at Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson prior to the summer’s popular air show. The crew was practicing for the show.

“The accident investigation board found clear and convincing evidence the cause of the mishap was pilot error,” the Air Force said in its statement.