F-16 accident report
LANGLEY AIR FORCE BASE, Va. (AFPN)
-- Air Force investigators have determined trapped external fuel
because of an aircraft malfunction and the pilots failure
to properly monitor his fuel status were the causes of an F-16
Fighting Falcon crash in Iraq on June 12.
The aircraft was assigned to
the 421st Expeditionary Fighter Squadron and deployed from the
421st Fighter Squadron at Hill Air Force Base, Utah.
The pilot had been flying a close-air
support mission when, after more than five hours into the mission,
the aircraft engine failed. The pilot ejected safely. The aircraft
was destroyed with an estimated value of $26.8 million. There
was no other damage to military or civilian property.
According to the Air Combat Command
Accident Investigation Report released Dec. 4, the trapped fuel
was caused by one of three things. It was either a malfunctioning
external vent and pressurization valve, a combination of a malfunctioning
right external refuel/transfer shutoff valve and malfunctioning
external fuel transfer override float switch, or a malfunctioning
external fuel transfer override relay.
Investigators found that the
engines power loss was because of fuel starvation. The
pilot failed to notice the fuel on the aircraft was trapped in
the external tanks. Additionally, he failed to follow checklist
procedures and to properly prioritize fuel checks throughout
the flight. (Courtesy of ACC News Service)
Turbine blade caused June F-16
RANDOLPH AIR FORCE BASE, Texas
(AFPN) -- Air Force officials determined a manufacturing defect
of a turbine blade caused an F-16 Fighting Falcon to crash June
10 at Luke Air Force Base, Ariz.
In the recently released accident-investigation
report, the board determined the crash was caused by a manufacturing
defect in Blade 1 of the 4th stage low-pressure turbine of the
The blade failure caused a chain
of events that destroyed the engine, according to the report.
Capt. David OMalley, the
pilot of the mishap aircraft assigned to the 310th Fighter Squadron,
was the lead of a two-ship formation flying a close-air support
training mission. The mission included simulated bombing attacks
and low-angle strafing on the Gila Bend Auxiliary Airfield. He
was performing low-altitude bomb training when he felt a vibration
underneath him, heard a bang and then a grinding
noise coming from the engine.
In response, he made the aircraft
climb and attempted two engine restarts.
When his wingman reported the
aircraft had fire coming out the aft end, OMalley ejected.
The F-16, which was assigned to the 310th Fighter Squadron at
Luke AFB, crashed on Bureau of Land Management property about
12 nautical miles northwest of Gila Bend.
A Native Air Ambulance helicopter
crew flew OMalley back to base. There he was examined by
a flight surgeon and released. (Courtesy of Air Education and
Training Command News Service)
F-16 crashes in Louisiana
ELLINGTON FIELD, Texas (AFPN)
-- A Texas Air National Guard F-16 Fighting Falcon crashed during
a routine training mission Sept. 22. The crash occurred in a
wooded area approximately 200 miles northeast of Houston, near
The pilot ejected safely and
no one was injured on the ground.
A search and rescue team from
Fort Polk, La., responded to the crash and retrieved the pilot,
who was treated for minor injuries and released by the 147th
Fighter Wing flight surgeon here.
"Because of the cooperation
between military and local law enforcement authorities, we were
able to rescue the pilot and secure the crash site for the investigation,
said Col. Lanny McNeely, 147th Fighter Wing commander. We
hope the investigation will help us ensure this type of accident
doesnt happen again.
This is the second F-16 crash
in the units history with the last crash occurring in 1989.
Bird strike likely
cause of crash
HICKAM AIR FORCE BASE, Hawaii
(AFPN) -- Air Force investigators determined an F-16 Fighting
Falcon crashed after at least one Spot-billed Duck was ingested
into the engine, resulting in catastrophic engine failure, according
to a report released Sept. 18.
The May 29 crash happened off
the end of the runway at Osan Air Base, South Korea.
The mishap pilot was the wingman
in a two-ship formation on a night-training mission at the time
of the accident. The pilot and a Korean on the ground were slightly
injured in the crash.
According to the report, shortly
after taking off, the pilot said he saw a grayish object flash
in front of him followed by a loud band and an apparent fire
in front of his aircraft. The pilot then experienced severe deceleration
causing him to be thrown forward in the cockpit. He initiated
emergency procedures for an engine fire by raising the nose of
his aircraft and releasing his external fuel tanks. After assessing
that the engine was not responding properly to his throttle inputs,
the pilot ejected safely approximately 12 seconds after liftoff.
The aircraft was destroyed upon impact. (Courtesy of Pacific
Air Forces News Service)
crashes at air show
MOUNTAIN HOME AIR FORCE BASE,
Idaho (AFPN) -- An Air Force Thunderbird demonstration team aircraft
crashed during an air show here Sept. 14.
The pilot, Capt. Chris Stricklin,
ejected safely from his F-16 Fighting Falcon. He was treated
and released by military medics.
The Thunderbirds are based at
Nellis Air Force Base, Nev. At the time of the accident, Stricklin
was performing with the team as part of Mountain Home AFBs
air show, Gunfighter Skies 2003.
A board of officers will investigate
F-16 crashes; pilot safe
KUNSAN AIR BASE, South Korea
(AFPN) -- An F-16 Fighting Falcon pilot ejected safely before
his aircraft crashed into the Yellow Sea about 56 miles southwest
of here at 10:05 a.m. Sept. 9.
The pilot, Capt. Kevin Dydyk,
was rescued by South Korean airmen in an HH-47 helicopter. Dydyk
arrived here at noon and was reported in good condition at the
8th Medical Group clinic, officials said.
At the time of the accident,
Dydyk, from the 35th Fighter Squadron, was on a training mission.
The cause of the accident will
be investigated. (Courtesy of Pacific Air Forces News Service)
Luke officials ground
LUKE AIR FORCE BASE, Ariz.
(AFPN) -- Officials here grounded F-16 Fighting Falcons with
certain type of engine July 2 after investigators of a June 10
crash found a fleet-wide engine-related problem.
The aircraft will be grounded
until all aircraft with this type of engine have replacement
parts installed, according to Col. Philip Breedlove, 56th Fighter
The crash occurred at the Barry
M. Goldwater Range approximately 15 miles south of Gila Bend,
Ariz. Capt. David OMalley, an instructor pilot with the
310th Fighter Squadron, safely ejected from the aircraft while
on a training mission. He has more than 1,000 flying hours in
F-16 crashes in Arizona
LUKE AIR FORCE BASE, Ariz. (AFPN)
-- An F-16 Fighting Falcon based here crashed June 13 at about
9:30 a.m. on the Barry M. Goldwater Range about five miles south
of Gila Bend.g
Capt. Scott Arbogast, an instructor
pilot assigned to the 61st Fighter Squadron here, safely ejected
from the aircraft.
The mishap marks the second Luke
F-16 crash this week at the Goldwater Range. On June 10 at about
5:15 p.m., Capt. David OMalley, an instructor pilot with
the 310th Fighter Squadron, safely ejected from his aircraft
before it crashed about 15 miles south of Gila Bend.
Both pilots were flying air-to-ground
training missions at the time of their mishaps.
Arbogast was taken to the hospital
at Luke for examination and was reported in good condition. He
has more than 1,100 flying hours in the F-16.
F-16 crashes in Arizona
LUKE AIR FORCE BASE, Ariz. (AFPN)
-- An Air Force F-16 Fighting Falcon jet assigned here crashed
about 5:15 p.m. June 10 on the Barry M. Goldwater Range approximately
15 miles south of Gila Bend.
Capt. David OMalley, an
instructor pilot with the 310th Fighter Squadron, safely ejected
from the aircraft while on an air-to-ground training mission.
He was examined at the base hospital and is reported to be in
The aircraft was carrying training
OMalley has more than 1,000
flying hours in the F-16 aircraft.
Modifications give F-16s new life
by 1st. Lt. Garrett Grochowski
Ogden Air Logistics Center Public Affairs
HILL AIR FORCE BASE, Utah (AFPN)
-- America's premier multirole fighter is slipping
into some tougher armor that promises to extend the aircraft's
life by about eight years.
The F-16 Service Life Improvement
Program modifications, better known as SLIP, are "all about
extending these aircraft -- putting them back up to get more
life out of them," said Gary Grivet, F-16 Fighting Falcon
branch module chief.
SLIP began five years ago to
repair cracks in high-stress, fracture-critical and potential-crack
areas, Grivet said. These areas developed over time as stress
on the airframe transferred to other areas after an earlier structural
modification program, Falcon-Up, was started.
"SLIP mod is
the modification of the upper fuselage area, which beefs up the
exterior of the aircraft where cracks have or may occur from
years of wear and tear," said Grivet.
The modification replaces the
old bulkheads with new composite metal bulkheads, the entire
engine mount, fuel-tank panels and fasteners, as well as other
structural components. From the time the aircraft arrives here,
Grivet said it takes experts only 94 days to modify each aircraft,
depending on what other modifications need to be done. .
When the aircraft comes in, Grivet
said its fuel and engine have already been removed. It is then
jacked up and stripped.
After structural mechanics accomplish
their modifications, Grivet said F-16 branch technicians rebuild
everything, putting it all back the way it was when the plane
"We reassemble it and then
run it back through the fuel facility, where aircraft parts are
checked for proper operation and any leaks," he said. "From
there the Falcons are taken to flight test where the engine's
put back in."
A lot of repairs F-16 branch
experts do depend on what is found by both the aircraft's home
unit and the team here. Some aircraft have more wear and tear
because of number hours their units fly and the environment at
the aircrafts' home base, such as humidity or salt in the air.
"The more high-tech you
go the more complex a modification gets," Grivet said. "We
have good mechanics, a lot of talented people, with a lot of
experience on this airplane, which makes the job go really well
and keeps us on schedule. (Courtesy of Air Force Materiel Command
continues at Osan crash site
OSAN AIR BASE, South Korea (AFPN)
-- Base workers labored throughout the night surveying debris
from the F-16 Fighting Falcon that crashed near a gate at approximately
8 p.m. May 29.
A pilot from the 36th Fighter
Squadron was taking off on a training mission in the F-16 when
the crash occurred. The aircraft was carrying inert bombs and
a captive training missile when it crashed. The pilot safely
ejected from the aircraft and landed approximately 300 yards
from the impact site.
An airfield manager on the runway
was the first to reach the downed pilot. The pilot was taken
to the 51st Medical Group emergency room where he was treated
for minor arm bruises and released.
No facilities were damaged. A
car and static displays of an F-86 Sabre and F-4 Phantom received
minor damage. Base emergency response teams extinguished two
small fires resulting from the crash.
On-scene workers retrieved the
aircrafts flight data recorder.
Even in bad news, good news arises,
according to Col. Paul White, 51st Operations Group commander.
"In light of the crash and
loss of aircraft, it's a success for the life-support and survival-equipment
shops," he said. "At low altitude and high speed, the
equipment worked as it is designed to, (helping the pilot survive)."
According to base officials,
each pilot within Pacific Air Forces receives annual training
on the ejection seat and life-support equipment.
"The pilots are taught on
what to do after exiting the aircraft and man-seat separation
occurs to improve their chances to survive," said Master
Sgt. Christopher Moore, the superintendent of the 36th Fighter
Squadron life-support section.
Moore said pilots go through
training in a mock-up where they hang on a parachute harness
and go through procedures to land safely.
"The swift actions of the
pilot prevented any loss of life and minimized damage to base
property," said Col. Gregg Sanders, 51st Fighter Wing vice
release F-16 accident report
LANGLEY AIR FORCE BASE, Va.
(AFPN) -- Air Force investigators determined that pilot error
caused the crash of an Air Force F-16C Fighting Falcon on the
Utah Test and Training Range on Nov. 13.
According to an Air Combat Command Accident Investigation Board
report released April 7, investigators determined the primary
cause of the crash was the pilot's loss of situational awareness,
resulting from channelized attention and an optical illusion
caused by unusual environmental conditions. Channelized attention
occurs when the pilot focuses his attention exclusively on one
element of the environment, unintentionally disregarding other
The white salt flat covering
the range was covered by two to three inches of clear, calm water
that created a mirror between the ground and the sky. The mirror
effect gave a pilot the illusion that he had unlimited maneuvering
space when in fact his aircraft was close to the ground, according
Lt. Col. Dillon L. McFarland
died in the crash. The aircraft, which was assigned to the 466th
Fighter Squadron at Hill Air Force Base, Utah, was destroyed.
The cost of the accident is estimated at $25.4 million. (Courtesy
of ACC News Service)
releases F-16 accident report
LANGLEY AIR FORCE BASE, Va. (AFPN)
-- Air Force investigators have determined engine failure caused
an F-16C Fighting Falcon aircraft to crash Sept. 11 during a
basic surface attack training sortie.
The F-16C was destroyed upon impact 1,300 feet short of the runway
at the Bobby L. Chain Municipal Airport in Hattiesburg, Miss.
The pilot ejected safely and sustained minor injuries.
The aircraft was assigned to the Alabama Air National Guard's
160th Fighter Squadron at Montgomery ANG Base, Ala.
According to an Air Combat Command accident investigation report
released Feb. 19, the primary cause of the accident was the failure
of the high-pressure turbine post, allowing the HPT blades to
break free and damage the engine.
gets F-16s from 'bone yard'
EDWARDS AIR FORCE BASE, Calif.
(AFPN) -- Two F-16 Fighting Falcons joined the test operations
facility here recently to help support flight test programs.
The aircraft are the first of nine F-16s making their way to
Edwards this year.
The aircraft arrived from the Aerospace Maintenance and Regeneration
Center at Davis-Monthan Air Force Base, Ariz., where they were
originally part of a deal to sell 28 F-16s to Pakistan. The agreement
broke down after Pakistan violated the nuclear nonproliferation
policy of the U.S. government and its allies, and the United
States cancelled the sale. That left the aircraft in storage
at Davis-Monthan for more than a decade. After several years
of modifications and rebuilding, the aircraft made their way
The aircraft are late A and B
models, versus the C and D models pilots routinely fly today.
They were built in the late 1980s and early 1990s and are scheduled
to replace some of the older F-16s in the Edwards' inventory,
which will provide pilots with better capability and reliability,
said Lt. Col. Troy Fontaine, commander of test operations here.
With only eight and 11 total
flying hours respectively, the two aircraft will be used to support
the 412th Maintenance Group shadow fleet. The aircraft will perform
photo chase, high-alpha testing and test support missions for
Edwards' various test forces. The jets will also be used to train
students at the test pilot school.
According to Col. George Ka'iliwai,
the school's commandant, the new aircraft are welcome additions
to the busy flying schedule.
"These two additional F-16s
will help the test pilot school graduate our students fully trained
and on time," said Ka'iliwai. "Increasing the number
of F-16s helps us ensure that these aircraft are available when
we need them to meet our flying program requirements as well
as test program requirements around the base."
Air Force officials will take
14 aircraft while the Navy will get 14 to be used as aggressor
aircraft for training.