On Friday US Air Force released the results of their investigation into a fatal C-17 Globemaster III aircraft (tail number 00-0173 – call sign Sitka 43) mishap July 28 at Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson, Alaska.
The plane was on a training flight for the Arctic Thunder Air Show scheduled for the weekend of July 31.
The accident investigation board found clear and convincing evidence the cause of the mishap was pilot error. The investigation revealed the pilot placed the aircraft outside established flight parameters and capabilities. During the mishap sortie, the pilot aggressively flew the aircraft in a manner inconsistent with established flight procedures, resulting in a stall. The pilot failed to take required stall recovery actions.
Furthermore, the board concluded the co-pilot and safety observer failed to recognize or address the developing dangerous situation. As a result, the C-17 stalled at an attitude and altitude from which recovery to controlled flight was impossible.
Video footage of the mishap flight was officially released and is found on YouTube. The footage has been edited to cut off just prior to the aircraft’s impact out of consideration and respect for the families of the deceased.