The Air Force has issued a report stating the Thunderbirds F-16 that crashed at the Dayton International Airport last June was the result of the pilot landing too fast on a wet runway.
A Thunderbirds pilot was going too fast in bad weather and without enough stopping distance when landing on a wet runway, causing a crash that destroyed a $29 million F-16D jet during practice for the Dayton air show, the U.S. Air Force concluded Friday.
The pilot and crew member were treated June 23 after their two-seat plane ran off the runway and flipped over at Dayton International Airport. The Air Force accident investigation board report stated that the pilot suffered multiple injuries, while the crew member was uninjured. Capt. Erik Gonsalves was hospitalized after the Dayton accident.
The report also cites failure to follow procedures and environmental conditions as contributing factors to the accident. The team was practicing on a rainy afternoon with crosswinds, and the report stated that there was standing water on the cockpit’s canopy that affected vision. The report also said proper braking procedure wasn’t followed. – AP
Capt. Erik Gonsalves is still active with the team and performing narrator duties. It was reported that the F-16 was later destroyed.
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