The Department of Defense Inspector General has found that an Air Force report stating pilot error as the cause of a fatal 2010 crash of an F-22 Raptor "is not supported by the facts." The report, released Monday, examined the crash of November 2010 that took place in Alaska and killed the pilot, Captain Jeff Haney. The crash preceded an Air Force investigation that sought to determine why dozens of Raptor pilots reported suffering from hypoxia-like symptoms while flying the fighter. The Air Force released its review (PDF) of the crash in December 2011, discounting oxygen deprivation as a contributing factor and stating that "clear and convincing evidence" showed the crash was the result of Haney's failure to recognize and correct inadvertent control inputs in a timely manner. The IG said the conclusion failed to meet the Air Force's standards for "clear and convincing" proof and recommended that the matter be revisited.
As a result of its assessment, the IG recommends that "the Judge Advocate General of the Air Force reevaluate the AIB report and take appropriate action" regarding the report's Statement of Opinion "and other deficiencies." The IG's assessment includes comments from the Air Force, which "concurs" that parts of the Accident Investigation Board's report "could have been more clearly written." However, the Air Force also stated that the Statement of Opinion "was supported by clear and convincing evidence." The Air Force will address "deficiencies" in its report including "the lack of detailed analysis of the non-causal or non-contributory factors; insufficient details regarding conclusions concerning Emergency Oxygen Activation and blood oxygen levels; and, inaccurate references" within the report. The IG has responded to the comments and remains in disagreement about the report's use of "clear and convincing evidence." It also found the Air Force's stated remedial actions to address deficiencies insufficient in their detail. Find the IG report here.