>>he went with his TRAINING to get the plane home
No, he didn't, he forgot the basics (the checklist being critical), 20 miles sounds like a lot but not when you're flying at several hunded knots, 400Mph/20Miles = 3 minutes, he obviously considered it worth the extra risk, he made this choice, if he had an extra 5 minutes of flying time he woud have got away with it (and avoided the two hours of paperwork and shuttle back to his base for taking his aircraft back to the "wrong" base, which might have been the real reason for trying to "get the plane home").
>>How the HELL do you expect someone strapped to a seat 15k feet high to hop out and check the oil?
He was fully aware the plane was faulty before he took off, pilots have full vito on the serviceability of every aircraft they fly, he decided to fly a faulty aircraft after alll it had been OK so far. Imagine, your car has the oil light on, you can stop, drive to the nearest garage or just keep driving as it hasn't caused a problem so far, what would you have done?
Notwithstanding, the problems are endemic, he takes amphetamines because he is required to, what kind of military requires this? His judgement was poor, maybe skewed by the drugs (many friendly fire killings are attributed to pilots using drugs), but as we know "I was only following orders" isn't really a get out of jail free card, there are so many things that could have given this a better outcome, he is responsible for a few of those things, but he is not alone in this.