JACKSONVILLE, Ark. — The deaths of three U.S. servicemen during the aborted landing of a C-130 transport in Kuwait last year stemmed from pilot and crew error, the Air Force said Friday.
After failing to follow procedures and making an improper approach to a runway, the air crew didn't keep an eye on instruments and became disoriented, not realizing how close the plane was to the ground or how far it was from the runway at Al Jaber Air Base southwest of Kuwait City, according to Col. Frank Laras.
"Basically, yes, he flew the plane into the ground," said Laras, who headed the Air Force investigation of the crash.
The plane hit the ground, breaking its landing gear, then flew back into the air and made an emergency landing without landing gear on a foam-covered runway at nearby Kuwait International Airport, Laras said.
The pilot, Capt. Darren A. Haughn, and three other crew members--the co-pilot, 1st Lt. Karrina M. Coleman; the navigator, Capt. Russell A. Hedden III; and the flight engineer, Tech. Sgt. Jeffrey W. Morgan--could face disciplinary action, said Col. Joseph Heimann, a lawyer with the Air Mobility Command. No decision on that has been made, he added.