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10/20/2017 1:01:18 AM
9/22/2017 12:11:25 AM
Posted: 9/1/2005 12:53:19 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 9/1/2005 1:36:26 PM EDT by thompsondd]
In June of 1994, a B52 practicing for an airshow scheduled for the next day crashed, killing all 4 crewmen. There was a lot leading up to this accident. Most everyone on base, including the children of the pilots, knew what was going on and many expected and predicted it. One of those killed in the crash, the co-pilot, was in the seat because he refused to subject his younger pilots to the dangers of flying with the pilot. He took their spot voluntarily.

There is a lot to be learned from this:

Darker Shades of Blue: A Case Study of Failed Leadership

A preface for the actual article:


Author's Preface

When leadership fails and a command climate breaks down, tragic things can happen. This is the story of failed leadership and a command climate which had degenerated into an unhealthy state of apathy and non-compliance--a state which contributed to the tragic crash of a B-52 at Fairchild Air Force Base, on the 24th of June, 1994, killing all aboard.

I have three purposes with this case study. First, I hope to integrate the various elements of the story into a historically accurate and readable case study for all interested parties, to provide a clearer picture of what actually occurred at Fairchild Air Force Base in the years and months leading up to the tragedy. Secondly, I wish to analyze leadership and the command climate at the wing, operations group, and squadron levels. This analysis will identify possible errors and provide lessons learned, for use in academic environments. Finally, I wish to show the positive side of this episode, for there were many who did the right thing, and acted in a timely and proactive manner. Their actions might well have averted the disaster in a more rational command climate. Their story should be told.

All testimony contained in this report are taken from the AFR 110-14 Aircraft Accident Investigation Board transcripts, obtained through the Freedom of Information Act, or through personal interviews conducted by the author. I analyzed transcripts from 49 individual testimonies, and conducted 11 personal interviews. I wish to make it perfectly clear, that no data was taken from the Air Force Safety Mishap Investigation, so the issue of privilege was not a factor in preparing this report. In fact, I intentionally did not read or receive a briefing on the results of the safety board for the express purpose of avoiding even the appearance of a conflict.

Placing blame on individuals was not my intention and is not the purpose of this monograph. However, my interpretation of events found potentially significant errors in leadership, disregard for regulations, and breeches of air discipline at multiple levels. As an officer and aviator, I found many of these events personally and professionally appalling. Occasionally, my interpretation of events reflects this mood. Although I have attempted to avoid bias, I make no apologies for my discoveries. Any errors of omission or commission are strictly those of the author. I write this as my contribution to promoting the Air Force values of integrity, fairness, discipline, and teamwork-- all found to be tragically lacking in this example.




Link to video of the crash: media.putfile.com/b52-crash
Link Posted: 9/1/2005 1:50:13 PM EDT
Link Posted: 9/1/2005 2:52:09 PM EDT
A now deceased friend of mine was a pilot in the USAF, graduated from the USAF Academy (and is buried there) knew of the pilot of this aircraft. He stated that the guy had no business flying. He said that back in '94 or '95.

Merlin
Link Posted: 9/1/2005 3:37:36 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 9/1/2005 6:19:27 PM EDT by stony275]
Was that the Thunder Hawks demonstration? I think the base commander was relieved after that. If I recall correctly, it was an unauthorized demonstration team.


[edited for spelling]
Link Posted: 9/1/2005 3:40:08 PM EDT

Originally Posted By thompsondd:
www.rob.com/pic/B52_crash/B52CRSH2.jpg



Link Posted: 9/1/2005 3:44:05 PM EDT
Few years before that, they had a KC-135 crash while preparing for an airshow also.
Link Posted: 9/1/2005 4:12:38 PM EDT
The enclosed link is a long, but EXCELLENT read about how things like this can be allowed to happen by seemingly innocent and, on the surface, unrelated events.

Link Posted: 9/1/2005 5:29:25 PM EDT

Originally Posted By TROJANII:
Few years before that, they had a KC-135 crash while preparing for an airshow also.



That's probably the crash I was thinking about.
Link Posted: 9/1/2005 5:31:25 PM EDT

Originally Posted By stony275:
Was that the Thunder Hawks demonstration? I tihnk the base commander was relieved after that. If I recall correctly, it was an unauthorized demonstration team.



Several people were relieved. There is a nice article about how it all came to happen.

"Unauthorized demonstration team"??????

It was called flying an aircraft beyond its flight envelope. Buffs aren't made for 70 degree pitch and 60 degree rolls.
Link Posted: 9/2/2005 3:22:43 AM EDT

Originally Posted By stony275:

Originally Posted By TROJANII:
Few years before that, they had a KC-135 crash while preparing for an airshow also.



That's probably the crash I was thinking about.



I believe there was an RC-135 crash several years before the B-52 crash. I recall reading that the pilot's wife was in the left hand seat at the time, something went wrong and the only control was to the left of the pilot's seat. The pilot wasn't buckled in and couldn't reach the control, she didn't have a clue. Went in and killed everyone aboard. I want to say it was Okalohoma, but it's been years.

Merlin
Link Posted: 9/2/2005 12:43:49 PM EDT

Originally Posted By Merlin:

Originally Posted By stony275:

Originally Posted By TROJANII:
Few years before that, they had a KC-135 crash while preparing for an airshow also.



That's probably the crash I was thinking about.



I believe there was an RC-135 crash several years before the B-52 crash. I recall reading that the pilot's wife was in the left hand seat at the time, something went wrong and the only control was to the left of the pilot's seat. The pilot wasn't buckled in and couldn't reach the control, she didn't have a clue. Went in and killed everyone aboard. I want to say it was Okalohoma, but it's been years.

Merlin



There were a couple of IP pilots assigned to USAFA that were killed giving motorized glider rides to spouses back in the 80s. I remember one guy who rode one in with his wife as a passenger.
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