Two F-22 Raptors are shown on the flight line at Tyndall Air Force Base, Fla., with three F-16C Fighting Falcons. An accident investigation blamed an F-22 mishap in May on pilot error. (Air Force)
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A pilot in training failed to advance an F-22 to "military power" during takeoff and prematurely retracted the jet's landing gear, causing a mishap May 31 at Tyndall Air Force Base, Fla., according to an accident report released Thursday.
Without enough thrust during the touch-and-go training, the F-22 "settled back to the runway" and skidded along the ground to a stop, causing $35 million in damage to the stealthy jet. The pilot, assigned to the 325th Fighter Wing's 43rd Fighter Squadron, exited the plane with minor injuries.
The pilot had recently transferred from another airframe and was on his second training flight after 10 simulator training exercises and more than 100 hours of academic training, the Air Force said at the time of the incident.
The squadron at Tyndall was part of Air Education and Training Command at the time of the crash, but has recently transferred to the authority of Air Combat Command. Another F-22 squadron is transferring from Holloman Air Force Base, N.M., to Tyndall, but the move is on hold while Congress and the administration hash out an agreement on the fiscal 2013 budget.
While most accident investigation board reports are released in full within 24 hours of the announcement of findings, the report in this case is only available through a pending Freedom of Information Act request, AETC spokeswoman Dianne Moffett said Thursday.