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Pilot error cause of Alaska cargo plane crash, report concludes

By the CNN Wire Staff
  • Four Air National Guardsmen were killed in the July 28 crash
  • The pilot "aggressively flew the aircraft in a manner inconsistent with flight procedures"
  • The C-17 Globemaster III that crashed is a $184 million aircraft

(CNN) -- Pilot error caused the July cargo plane crash in Alaska that killed four Air National Guardsmen, according to a military investigative report released Friday.

Maj. Michael Freyholtz, Maj. Aaron Malone, Capt. Jeffrey Hill and Master Sgt. Thomas Cicardo died when the C-17 Globemaster III aircraft they were piloting crashed during a July 28 training mission near Elmendorf Air Force Base.

The report found "clear and convincing evidence the cause of the mishap was pilot error."

"The investigation revealed the pilot placed the $184 million aircraft outside established flight parameters and capabilities," the report states. "During the mishap sortie, the pilot aggressively flew the aircraft in a manner inconsistent with established flight procedures, resulting in a stall."

The pilot, according to the report, failed to take required corrective measures, nor did the co-pilot and another crewmember recognize or respond to a "developing dangerous situation."

"As a result, the C-17 stalled at an attitude from which recovery to controlled flight was impossible," the report states.