Air Force Link:
Pilot error caused a B-1 Lancer to crash while landing on the runway at a forward-deployed location May 8, 2006, according to an aircraft accident investigation report released here Sept. 18.
This won’t be a surprise to MO readers. Unconfirmed reports in the comments section earlier this year indicated that pilot error was to blame. Also, the “forward-deployed location” is not undisclosed.
Investigators concluded the cause of the mishap was both pilots’ failure to lower the landing gear during the aircraft’s approach and landing. Contributing factors for the pilots’ failure to lower the landing gear were the co-pilot’s task oversaturation; the co-pilot’s urgency to complete a long mission; both pilots’ inattention to instrument readings and the descent/before landing checklist, and the co-pilot’s false belief the pilot had lowered the landing gear.
According to the report, the pilot unexpectedly turned over aircraft control to the co-pilot on the final approach. The pilot reported to the air traffic control tower that the landing gear was down despite the fact that the descent/before landing checklist was never completed and the landing gear was never lowered. The red warning light in the gear handle, indicating all landing gear was not down and locked, was illuminated for more than four minutes during the approach.
Additionally, at the time the aircraft landed, the three green position lights, which illuminate after the landing gear has locked in the down position, were not illuminated.