Kadena F-15 accident information released

  • Published
Air Force investigators have determined a pilot's loss of situational awareness, spatial disorientation and faulty flight control inputs led to the Aug. 21 crash of an F-15C Eagle into the ocean south of Kadena Air Base, Japan.

The pilot, 1st Lt. Chris Northam, ejected safely from the aircraft with no apparent injuries. Both the aircraft and pilot were assigned to the 18th Wing based at Kadena AB.

The crash occurred 57 minutes into a 4-ship air-combat training mission.

During an advanced-handling maneuver, Northam made poor control inputs that caused the aircraft to go into a spin at 13,000 feet above sea level.

His resulting disorientation and the G forces prevented Northam from applying effective anti-spin controls and recovering the aircraft.

Northam ejected at 6,000 ft above sea level. The aircraft continued to spin until hitting the water 50 nautical miles south of Okinawa. (Courtesy of PACAF News Service)