F-22 Crash: Air Force Too Quick to Blame Pilot

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Captain Jeff Haney's F-22 went down approximately 100 miles north of Anchorage, Alaska.

The Pentagon inspector general confirmed Monday what anyone who has spent any time looking into military aircraft accidents knows: that when the pilot isn’t around to defend himself – or herself – the service tends to blame the pilot.

That’s the IG’s conclusion after investigating the November 2010 F-22 crash in Alaska that killed Air Force Captain Jeff Haney. The service assigned most of the blame for the crash to Haney, even as it acknowledged that the F-22’s faulty oxygen system played a role.

“How convenient,” as the Church Lady used to say on Saturday Night Live. “The AIB [Accident Investigation Board] Statement of Opinion regarding the cause of the mishap,” the IG says, “was not supported by the facts.”

Saturday Night Live

RM Lewis Jr. / NBCU Photo Bank

“How con-VEEN-ient…”

Battleland has posted several items on the crash and the subsequent investigations into it, including here, here and here.

The Air Force rejected the IG’s finding. “The Air Force found that the AIB President’s Statement of Opinion regarding the cause of the mishap,” the service said, “was supported by clear and convincing evidence and he exhausted all available investigative leads.”

Given the fact that all these probers basically conclude that the evidence is murky, how about a new guiding principle in such accidents: when the evidence is split between human and machine, let’s give the human the benefit of the doubt.

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Here we go again with half-truth journalism that has some unseen agenda. Read the mishap report again. The oxygen generator turned itself off in response to automatic warnings of leaking hot air inside the jet. There are set procedures for such an occurrence.  The accident report does not “blame the pilot”. It makes a difficult judgment that even the best of the best can be distracted from the proper procedures too long. In this case it was maybe 10-15 seconds. It may be an erroneous judgment, but the facts do support it. The cold weather gloves and night vision goggles the pilot was wearing did not help. Media speculation about the emergency oxygen activation “ring” design being defective are also deliberately misleading. It is the same design, in the same place, as in all USAF jets of all types. If it is ergonomically dangerous, then we should ground the whole USAF. Is that the unseen agenda item? Oh, this is Battleland, where military intelligence is not a contradiction in terms. Puh-leeze!

19shane 1 Like

The F 22 has not been used in a combat despite the initial introduction of this jet in 2005. The last of the 188 planes rolled off the assembly line in April of 2012. It has cost The United States more than $64 billion, more than double the initial expected cost.

Now they have given another contract to Lockheed Martin to fix the mistakes of the 188 planes that have issues.

The US spends more on its military than the next 19 biggest spending nations combined.

This is where our nation needs to cut its spending.


@19shane: Are you aware that the F-22 procurement program was stopped several years ago. You have gotten your wish and you still are obsessed with it. You won! The F-22 will be in the scrapyard soon enough because of slander in articles like this, making sure that the $64 billion is absolutely wasted. Good job. It's other people's money, anyway. You 'da man...WooHoo! FYI, 195 flying F-22s were built. For some reason they don't count the first 8 in the operational total of 187.  At least 4 have been damaged beyond repair or are smoking holes in the ground, so you got that goin' for ya. Again, congratulations for a hatchet job well done.


@19shane Lockheed-Martin should have to eat the cost of repairing their faulty jets.


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