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A stall resulting in an unrecoverable spin brought down an MC-12 Liberty surveillance aircraft in Afghanistan on April 27, killing all four aboard, the Air Force announced today.
An Air Force Accident Investigation Board report states that the MC-12 stalled due to insufficient airspeed during a climbing left turn, which caused a left spiral. The crew was in a routine, left-turn orbit when they flew into cloudy conditions.
The weather impeded visibility and masked the horizon, according to an Air Combat Command release on the report. The crew tried to climb to an altitude with improved visibility when the stall occurred.
Killed in the crash were:
■ Capt. Brandon L. Cyr, 28, of Woodbridge, Va. He was assigned to the 906th Air Refueling Squadron at Scott Air Force Base, Ill.
■ Capt. Reid K. Nishizuka, 30, of Kailua, Hawaii. He was assigned to the 427th Reconnaissance Squadron at Beale Air Force Base, Calif.
■ Staff Sgt. Richard A. Dickson, of Rancho Cordova, Calif. He was assigned to the 306th Intelligence Squadron at Beale Air Force Base.
■ Staff Sgt. Daniel N. Fannin, 30, of Morehead, Ky. He was assigned to the 552nd Operations Squadron at Tinker Air Force Base, Okla.
The airmen were deployed to the 361st Expeditionary Reconnaissance Squadron with the 451st Air Expeditionary Wing at Kandahar Airfield.
The MC-12 is a modified version of the civilian Beechcraft C-12 Huron outfitted with surveillance cameras and equipment to fly intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance missions. The aircraft was destroyed in the crash at a loss of $19.8 million.
There were no civilian injuries and no damage to private property.