Crew error blamed in Albania crash
ARLINGTON, Va. — The May 31 crash in Albania of an Air Force Special Operations aircraft happened after the flight crew failed to give the plane enough power to avoid hitting a remote mountain near Tirana, according to an accident investigations board report June 21.
The -130H Combat Talon II, which belonged to the 7th Special Operations Squadron based at Royal Air Force Mildenhall, England, killed all nine airmen aboard.
The crew was on a nighttime training flight when it lost “situational awareness,” the report said. As a result, the crew “placed the aircraft in too low a climb with respect to the surrounding mountainous terrain.” When they tried to compensate by climbing, they “did not use all available power and stalled the aircraft during a turning climb. This resulted in a loss of aircraft control and almost immediate crash,” the report said.