Following a monthslong investigation into the crash of an aircraft participating in an international air show in Singapore in February, the Air Force announced Wednesday the accident was caused by a pilot error during preparation for take-off.
According to the Air Force, the pilot from the Black Eagles aerobatic team failed to abide by the emergency procedure when the T-50 Golden Eagle aircraft skidded off the runway at Changi Airport during the 2018 Singapore Airshow on Feb. 6.
The Air Force said there were no defects found in the T-50 aircraft, but that it would work with the manufacturer Korea Aerospace Industries to prevent possible accidents. The T-50 was developed by KAI along with US firm Lockheed Martin. It is used as a trainer jet by the Air Force.
“We concluded that the accident was attributed to the pilot’s failure to observe the procedure for an abnormal situation,” the Air Force said in a statement. “We will educate all pilots about the accident and reestablish relevant procedures.”
The aircraft caught fire after skidding off the runway and crashing into the grass verge at the side of Changi Airport’s Runway 1. The accident left the pilot with a minor injury and caused the Air Force to cancel scheduled performances.
The Air Force explained that the accident occurred when the pilot proceeded with disengaging nose wheel steering -- a system that allows the aircraft to be directed when taxiing for a take-off -- when the aircraft’s nose cone and front wheels were not perfectly aligned, the Air Force said.
The decision caused the aircraft to lean toward the right side and skid off the runaway. Despite his repeated attempts to bring the aircraft under control, the pilot failed to prevent the aircraft from veering off the runway, the Air Force said
“The pilot was supposed to abort the mission in accordance with the established procedure. But the pilot was so eager to fix the problem that he tried repeatedly to bring the aircraft under control,” the Air Force’s statement said.
Following the accident, the Air Force dispatched a 10-member inspection team to Singapore. Air Force vice chief of staff Gen. Lee Sung-yong led the investigation.
By Yeo Jun-suk (firstname.lastname@example.org