U.S. Air Force ends light attack flight experiments after crash
5 July 2018
The US Air Force canceled remaining flights that were a part of its Light Attack experiment after a recent fatal crash of an A-29, an Air Force official said on Tuesday.
The experiment was being run to gather additional information about aircraft capabilities ahead of a possible acquisition by the Air Force. The smaller planes are more cost effective to operate for missions that do not require stealthy fighter jets like the F-35 or F-22.
The Air Force has been flying the Sierra Nevada/Embraer A-29 Super Tucano and the Textron Aviation AT-6B Wolverine in a live-fly experiment at Holloman Air Force Base in New Mexico.
“We will work with our industry partners to complete any remaining test requirements that are necessary to support future acquisition decisions,” said Lt. Gen. Arnold Bunch, the top acquisition official for the Air Force.
Lt. Christopher Carey Short, from Canandaigua, New York, died on June 22 when the A-29 aircraft he was piloting crashed while on a mission over the Red Rio Bombing Range, part of White Sands Missile Range in New Mexico, the Air Force said on June 23.
A demonstration day for the light attack experiment planes has also been delayed. It was originally scheduled for July 19 in New Mexico.