F-16 Crash Caused by Lack of Sleep

The Air Force has released a report indicating the August midair collision of two F-16s off the coast of Virginia was caused by one of the pilot’s poor sleep habits:

The accident investigation report by Air Combat Command says the pilot had trouble balancing his Air National Guard and civilian careers and only had about four hours of sleep each night in the 48 hours prior to the August collision. The pilot needed about 10 more hours of rest to be considered fully rested, and his lack of sleep was a direct result of working at his civilian job during the day and flying training missions at night, according to the report.

That lack of sleep resulted in the pilot having the same level of impairment as someone with a blood alcohol level of .05, the report says.

Quoted within the report, the pilot in question blamed himself:

At the time that day, I believed that I was fit to fly. I was obviously wrong in the self-assessment as evidence by my monumental mistake the night of the mishap sortie,” the unidentified pilot told Air Force investigators, according to the report…

I admit that I was grossly mistaken in this assessment and did not demonstrate sound judgment…