American pilots practice aerobatics under the name Sierra Hotel - a cultural decoding of the abbreviation SH, which in an acceptable form can be translated as "hell difficult." When performing this maneuver, the aircraft, leaving for a 360-degree turn, resets its course; at the same time, the speed of the machine becomes lower than the speed of landing gear, which seriously limits the time for setting up a fighter for landing.
According to the investigation, the incorrect execution of the maneuver caused the crash of the F-35С aboard the aircraft carrier USS Carl Vinson, which occurred on January 24, 2022.
As indicated, the pilot, who performed this maneuver for the first time, drove the car at a speed of 370-390 knots before the turn, switched to afterburner, which turned off after a few seconds. He realized late that he did not turn on the on-board assistance system, which makes it possible to control the power of the power plant during landing, as a result, the engine switched to idling, a sharp transition to maximum afterburner did not correct the situation.
As a result, the aircraft, which was flying in manual mode, did not have enough speed, it hit the deck with its nose, the rocket arm caught on the safety cable, which led to the rotation of the machine counterclockwise (this gave the crew time to run up). The wreckage of the aircraft injured five sailors on the ship, the nearby EA-18G Growler was damaged ($ 2,5 million damage), the fighter itself, by inertia, began to move along the deck at a speed of 150 km / h, falling as a result into the South China Sea, catapulted the pilot was injured.
This accident was the result of pilot error.
- wrote the commander of the 7th fleet US Vice Admiral Carl Thomas, revealing the outcome of a detailed investigation.
The pilot had a total flight time of 650,3 hours, of which 370,7 on the F-35C, "was well rested, mentally healthy and was among the best junior officers of the second aircraft carrier air wing." The sky was mostly cloudless, the wind was blowing at 15 knots on deck, and there were low waves on the sea.
The fighter had a faulty electronic warfare system, but was otherwise capable of performing tasks.
- noted by the investigation.
A Navy spokesman told USNI News that the crash had removed the pilot from flying practice but was still on duty. The investigation recommended that aviators, when using the Sierra Hotel maneuver, stop a sharp drop in power and always use auxiliary throttle control systems when landing, and developers should install indicator lights that display the operation of these systems.