From Air Combat Command:
An Accident Investigation Board report released today by Air Combat Command presents the board's findings on a March 28, 2012, mishap in which the pilot of an F-15E Strike Eagle was fatally injured when his aircraft crashed into a radio tower in Southwest Asia.
According to the report, the pilot became spatially disoriented and incorrectly perceived the aircraft as inverted due to reduced visibility and the lack of any significant topographical features or lighting that would create a discernable horizon. In addition, evidence suggested that the electronic attitude director indicator, which is the pilot's primary non-visual means for determining aircraft attitude, was not on the cockpit display when the pilot became disoriented. These factors led the pilot to roll the aircraft into an inverted position.
Convinced the pilot was disoriented, the aircraft's weapon systems officer (WSO) took control of the aircraft and initiated their ejection. The WSO survived with minor injuries. The pilot's ejection sequence was interrupted by contact with a 377-foot tall radio tower. The aircraft was destroyed after contacting the tower and then the ground; the loss is valued at approximately $47.1 million. The host nation radio tower and other assets in the vicinity also were damaged.
The pilot and aircraft, assigned to the 366th Fighter Wing at Mountain Home Air Force Base, Idaho, were forward deployed to the 391st Expeditionary Fighter Squadron. At the time of the incident, the pilot and WSO were participating in a training mission flown as part of a large force exercise at a deployed location in Southwest Asia.