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Air Force officials release F-16 accident report

1/11/2010 - LANGLEY AIR FORCE BASE, Va. (AFNS) -- Air Combat Command officials here Jan. 11 released the results of their investigation into the Oct. 15, 2009 collision of two F-16 Fighting Falcons that occurred 126 nautical miles southwest of Shaw Air Force Base, S.C. during a night close-air support training mission.

The wingman died upon collision.

The accident investigation board president found, by clear and convincing evidence, the mishap was caused by the wingman's failure to reduce airspeed and establish the appropriate flight path vector when performing a night rejoin maneuver.

The AIB president also found, by substantial evidence, that channelized attention substantially contributed to the collision. The wingman experienced a radar failure during the rejoin, which diverted his attention from recognizing and correcting the airspeed and flight path errors.

The flight lead was uninjured and the lead aircraft suffered moderate damage to the flight control surfaces and external stores. The No. 2 aircraft was completely destroyed. The total damage to both of the aircraft was valued at $26.9 million. Both aircraft were assigned to the 77th Fighter Squadron at Shaw AFB.

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