DoD: Air Force Wrong to Blame F-22 Pilot for Crash


In the course of its investigation, ABC News obtained an Air Force-made computer simulation of Haney's crash that shows that in the middle of Haney's oxygen-deprived dive, he doesn't appear to move the controls for approximately 15 seconds. Jennifer said that mysterious long pause in the middle of an emergency, along with the lack of a radio call, is evidence that her brother wasn't awake for at least part of the dive. Steve Ganyard, an ABC News consultant and former U.S. Marine Corps fighter pilot, said that after watching the computer simulation, he too believes Haney was unconscious at least part of the time.

The Pentagon Inspector General appears to agree it's a possibility.

"It is unclear how sudden incapacitation or unconsciousness was determined to be a non-contributory factor by the AIB [Air Force Accident Investigation Board], or why levels of partial incapacitation or impairment were not considered," the report says.

Haney did appear to try to pull out of his dive three seconds before impact -- one second too late to save himself. The Air Force has said that was evidence he was not incapacitated and only disoriented before his death.

The question of Haney's consciousness is listed by the IG as one of five "deficiencies" in the AIB report, others including the uncertainty over the status of Haney's oxygen mask and his possible attempt to turn on an emergency oxygen system.

"The AIB report lacked detailed analysis of several areas," the IG report said.

After the Air Force was informed of the Inspector General's conclusions, the service said it convened a separate task force to review the AIB report. The task force found that while some portions of the AIB could have been written more clearly, the service stands by its original accounting of the cause of the crash.

"That group of experts validated the AIB's conclusions," an Air Force spokesperson told ABC News.

The spokesperson said the service is currently rewriting its crash report to clarify certain points raised by the Inspector General's report.

Last August the plane's primary manufacturer, Lockheed Martin, along with other defense contractors involved in the plane's production, settled a wrongful death lawsuit with Haney's widow, Anna. The suit had contended that the companies knowingly provided the Air Force with a "defective" aircraft and that Capt. Jeff Haney was a casualty of that decision. The terms of the settlement were not disclosed.

READ: DOD IG's Technical Assessment Report

CLICK HERE to return to The Blotter homepage.

-- This embed didnt make it to copy for story id = 18464578.
  • 1
  • |
  • 2
Join the Discussion
blog comments powered by Disqus
You Might Also Like...