December 13, 2000 (by Lieven Dewitte) - Air Force investigators have determined that pilot error was the cause of an Air Force Reserve F-16C crash four miles north of Tulia, Texas, Aug. 28. The pilot was killed in the crash.
According to Air Combat Command's Accident Investigation Board report released today, the pilot was performing unauthorized aerobatic maneuvers over the property of his parents-in-law when the crash occurred. Investigators determined that he was executing a low-altitude loop when his attention became too focused on the point on the ground where he intended to complete the maneuver. As a result, he failed to keep track of his airspeed, altitude and dive angle and was unable to pull out of the loop in time.
The aircraft impacted the ground on the property of his parents-in-law. The pilot made no attempt to eject from the aircraft.
At the time of the accident, the pilot was assigned to the 301st Fighter Wing, Naval Air Station Joint Reserve Base Fort Worth, Texas. He was an experienced military aviator with more than 3,100 flying hours, including 1,140 in the F-16.