Air Force Says Goggles Case Caused Fatal Crash While Congress Releases New Report On Latest Bomber

Last year, a U.S. Air Force transport plane crashed, killing 14 people. The crash has been under investigation since it took place. The Air Force released the results of their investigation and said that the crash was the result of a misplaced goggles case on the plane.

Reuters reported that when the initial crash occurred, the Air Force said that it was not the result of the plane being shot down by enemy fire. After the crash occurred, a spokesman for the Taliban took responsibility for shooting the aircraft down. The U.S. military said at the time that it suspected the plane had not been shot down by enemy fire in spite of the Taliban’s claims.

In the report released last week by the U.S. Air Force, it said that the pilot actually put the goggles case in front of the yoke to hold the elevators in place. This was done in order to provide more space for loading. The report also went on to say that the pilots were wearing night vision goggles and didn’t see the case before the plane took off. As a result, the case wasn’t removed.

After the plane took off and began to have trouble, the co-pilot misidentified the problem as a trim malfunction. The plane crashed 28 seconds after take off. Six service members and five civilian contractors were killed in the crash. Three Afghan nationals were also killed.

Brigadier General Patrick Mordente, who led the investigation board, expressed his condolences to the families of those who were killed.

“Our hearts go out to the family members and friends of those killed in this accident.”

As previously reported by the Inquisitr, U.S. Air Force fighter jets deployed to Europe for a training mission in support of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO). The fighter jets were deployed to show support for NATO and reinforce security in Europe, and they will train while in Europe.

Popular Science reported that Congress released its latest report on the newest bomber to be commissioned by the Air Force. The latest bomber to be conceived by the Air Force was originally designed in 2004. The Long Range Strike Bomber, as it was called, was given its number last year, B-21.

Although the report gives little information on the specifics of the new bomber, it does explain in detail the stealth technology that will be involved in building the new bomber.

The report explained the stealth technology as follows.

“Stealthy or low-observable aircraft are those designed to be difficult for an enemy to detect. This characteristic most often takes the form of reducing an aircraft’s radar signature through careful shaping of the airframe, special coatings, gap sealing, and other measures. Stealth also includes reducing the aircraft’s signature in other ways, as adversaries could try to detect engine heat, electromagnetic emissions from the aircraft’s radars or communications gear, and other signatures. Minimizing these signatures is not without penalty. Shaping an aircraft for stealth leads in a different direction from shaping for speed. Shrouding engines and/or using smaller powerplants reduces performance; reducing electromagnetic signatures may introduce compromises in design and tactics. Stealthy coatings, access port designs, and seals may require higher maintenance time and cost than more conventional aircraft.”

The new bomber is the fifth generation of stealth warplane to be commissioned by the Air Force, and it will draw on the designs of the B-2 Bomber, as well as the F-117, F-22, and F-35 fighter jets. Although it takes about 20 years for the Air Force to get new aircraft commissioned and ready to build, Northrop Grumman is already prepared to build the new aircraft. The true cost of the aircraft has yet to be determined although an estimate was given.

The F-35 program, the Air Force’s latest warplane program, was $163 billion over budget last year. The estimates on the cost of the B-21 are $550 million per plane, and the Air Force plans to commission 100 new planes when the new aircraft is approved.

[Image via U.S. Air Force]