Release Number: 010715
7/13/2015 - LANGLEY AIR FORCE BASE, Va. -- An
F-16CM pilot's unrecognized descent led to a fatal crash in the Central
Command area of responsibility on Dec. 1, 2014, according to an Air
Combat Command Accident Investigation Board report released today.
Capt. William H. DuBois Jr., assigned to Shaw Air Force Base, S.C. and
deployed to Southwest Asia as part of the 77th Expeditionary Fighter
Squadron, was the flight lead for two F-16s conducting a combat mission
in support of Operation Inherent Resolve when the crash occurred.
According to the investigation report, the pilot's wingman experienced a
landing gear door malfunction on takeoff which required both aircraft
to return to base. The wingman landed safely, but when DuBois attempted
to make his landing, he was unaware of his own rapid descent during
approach procedures to the runway. This unintentional descent - coupled
with the lack of time to be able to recognize and respond to the danger -
led to the crash. He did not have the opportunity to eject from the
aircraft and was killed upon impact.
The loss of government property was valued at $30.8 million. The mishap
caused neither civilian injuries nor damage to civilian property.