The Air Force's accident investigation board report released on Tuesday and summarized by various media said the pilot became disoriented and believed the aircraft was inverted prior to crashing into a radio tower.
Capt. Francis Imlay, the pilot, was killed in the accident. According to reports, the weapons system officer assumed control of the aircraft and initiated the ejection process. The WSO survived with minor injuries while the pilot's ejection was "interrupted by contact with the 377-foot radio tower."
Several contributing factors were listed including low visibility and few topographical landmarks. But an additional major issue, according to media reports, was the absence of the electronic attitude director indicator on the pilot's cockpit display. That indicator is the pilot's primary, non-visual means of determining attitude. Those factors led the pilot to invert the aircraft, the report concluded.
Both crew members and the aircraft were assigned to Mountain Home Air Force Base, Idaho.