Losses and Aviation Safety

AFGSC HAS DETERMINED THE CAUSE BEHIND 2016 B-52H CRASH AT ANDERSEN AFB

The cause of the mishap was that the pilot analyzed visual bird activity and perceived cockpit indications as a loss of symmetric thrust required to safely attain flight, and subsequently applied abort procedures

U.S. Air Force Global Strike Command (AFGSC) has recently determined the cause behind the crash of a B-52H Stratofortress bomber at Andersen Air Force Base (AFB) in May 2016.

On May, 19, 2016 at approximately 8:32 a.m. Chamorro Standard Time (ChST), the aircraft attached to the 69th Expeditionary Bomb Squadron, 5th Bomb Wing, Andersen AFB, Guam, departed the runway during a high-speed, heavy-weight aborted takeoff during a routine training mission.

According to the Accident Investigation Board “the cause of the mishap was that the pilot analyzed visual bird activity and perceived cockpit indications as a loss of symmetric thrust required to safely attain flight, and subsequently applied abort procedures.”

The drag chute failed to deploy properly and the wheel brakes exceeded their energy limits. The bomber subsequently overran the runway and caught fire.

The aircraft sustained total damage with a loss valued at $112 million.

One aircrew member was treated for minor injuries consistent with ground egress. The incident did not result in fatalities or damage to private property.

The B-52H was deployed to Andersen AFB from Minot AFB, North Dakota, as part of the Department of Defense’s Continuous Bomber Presence (CBP) mission in the Pacific.

Photo credit: Kuam News

Dario Leone

Dario Leone is an aviation, defense and military writer. He is the Founder and Editor of “The Aviation Geek Club” one of the world’s most read military aviation blogs. His writing has appeared in The National Interest and other news media. He has reported from Europe and flown Super Puma and Cougar helicopters with the Swiss Air Force.

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