On 27 January 2020, a United States Air Force Bombardier Global Express E-11A aircraft crashed in Afghanistan's Dih Yak District, Ghazni Province. Two people on board were killed, the whole crew according to US military sources.
|Date||27 January 2020|
|Summary||Engine loss caused by a broken turbine blade; shut-down of operating engine due to pilot error|
|Site||Dih Yak District, Ghazni Province, Afghanistan|
|Aircraft type||Northrop Grumman E-11A|
(Bombardier Global Express)
|Operator||430th Expeditionary Electronic Combat Squadron, USAF|
|Flight origin||Kandahar International Airport|
|Destination||Kandahar International Airport|
The aircraft crashed at 13:10 local time (08:40 UTC) in the Dih Yak District. Ghazni Province, Afghanistan. The crash site is 130 kilometres (70 nmi) south west of Kabul, and near the village of Sado Khelo. Voice of America stated that all five people on board were killed. The U.S. Department of Defense only confirmed two fatalities recovered at the crash site. Two Afghan locals died on the ground by impact of the crash.
It was originally reported to be an aircraft of Ariana Afghan Airlines, but the airline later ruled out this possibility, saying all its flights had been accounted for. A spokesman for the United States military confirmed the identity of the aircraft involved in the accident, which occurred in an area controlled by the Taliban. A Taliban spokesman said to Al-Arabiyah, that Taliban militias shot down the aircraft killing everyone on board, including high-ranking officials. However, these reports remain unconfirmed. Reports circulated by state affiliated media of both Iran and Russia suggested that the Central Intelligence Agency's Chief of Iran operations Michael D'Andrea was killed in the crash. These reports are also unconfirmed, and the CIA neither confirmed nor denied the presence of its officers aboard the crashed plane.
On 29 January 2020, Pentagon sources identified the airmen killed in the crash as 46-years-old Lieutenant Colonel Paul K. Voss of Yigo, Guam (who had served with the U.S. Air Force for 25 years) and 30-years-old Captain Ryan S. Phaneuf of Hudson, New Hampshire (who had served with the U.S. Air Force for 8 years).
The incident aircraft was a Bombardier Global Express outfitted by Northrop Grumman as an E-11A of the United States Air Force. Video of the crash scene shows that the aircraft serial number was 11–9358, msn 9358. It had first flown in 2009. The aircraft was operated by the 430th Expeditionary Electronic Combat Squadron in the Battlefield Airborne Communications Node role. The aircraft involved in the crash was one of only four in the United States Air Force.
Investigation and findingsEdit
The investigation concluded that the crash was caused by a broken turbine blade on the left engine compounded by pilot error. The crew misidentified which engine had failed. As a result, the pilots mistakenly shut off power to the right engine, believing the left engine was still intact. The failure to restart the correct engine in the air, and their attempt to return to Kandahar Air Base, substantially contributed to the mishap. With no working engines, the aircraft lacked the necessary altitude and airspeed to glide to the nearest base, forcing them to make an emergency landing on the snowy terrain, which proved too rugged to land safely.
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