ACC NEWS SERVICE -- Oct. 6, 2005
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Today's stories include:
U-2 accident report released
Air Combat Command Public Affairs
LANGLEY AIR FORCE BASE, Va. (ACCNS) -- A catastrophic, cascading
sequence of events, beginning with the in-flight failure of the power
takeoff shaft, caused a U-2 surveillance and reconnaissance aircraft to
crash June 22 in Southwest Asia, killing the pilot, according to Air
The aircraft was returning to a forward operating location from a
high-altitude intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance mission at
the time of the accident and was assigned to the 9th Reconnaissance
Wing, Beale AFB, Calif.
According to the Accident Investigation Board report released today, the
in-flight failure of the power takeoff shaft resulted in an
instantaneous loss of power to the airframe-mounted accessory drive.
This caused the aircraft to lose its hydraulics systems, alternating
current and direct current generators, primary cockpit lighting, and
cockpit multifunctional displays. The failures occurred during a
critical phase of flight -- a descending turn below 3,500 feet in
preparation for a night landing.
The board concluded the vibration and noise caused by the in-flight
failure of the PTS, followed by the immediate loss of multifunctional
displays, led the pilot to conclude the aircraft was experiencing a
serious engine malfunction when in actuality the engine was operating.
With the entire mishap sequence lasting only 63 seconds, human factors
such as task over saturation, channelized attention, and spatial
disorientation substantially contributed to the pilot's loss of
situational awareness and the steady descent of the aircraft until it
impacted the ground.
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