Missing F-16 pilot's crash debris found
WASHINGTON (AFNS) -- Coast Guard
searchers found crash debris Oct. 16 in the Atlantic Ocean believed
to belong to a missing Air Force pilot's F-16 Fighting Falcon
that collided Oct. 15 with another F-16 near the South Carolina
coast during a night-training exercise, said an Air Force spokesman.
"The Coast Guard has found
some debris in the ocean that is apparently from our missing
F-16," said Robert Sexton, the Shaw Air Force Base Public
Affairs chief in Sumter, S.C.
Shaw AFB is the home of the 20th
Fighter Wing, to which the jet belong.
The two F-16s collided about
40 miles east of Folly Beach, S.C., over the Atlantic Ocean around
8:30 p.m. Oct. 15, according to an Air Force news release. The
pilot of one plane, Capt. Lee Bryant, was able to safely land
his damaged jet at Charleston AFB, S.C.
The other pilot, Capt. Nicholas
Giglio, is missing.
"They have not yet found
any sign of the pilot and the search continues," Mr. Sexton
said. No one witnessed what happened to Captain Giglio after
The incident, he said, occurred
during a routine night-training mission.
Foul weather, including rain
and fog, hindered the Coast Guard's search for Captain Giglio,
Mr. Sexton said.
"The Coast Guard is doing
an absolutely incredible job of running the search and rescue
mission," he said. "We're just tremendously grateful
for the assistance of the Coast Guard, the Navy, Charleston Air
Force Base (and) all of the other agencies that are participating
in the search and rescue."
The F-16s are "CJ"
models optimized for suppression of enemy air defenses, Mr. Sexton
A board of officers will investigate
the incident and details will be released as they become available.
F-16s collide: one pilot, aircraft missing
SHAW AIR FORCE BASE, S.C. (AFNS)
-- Two F-16 Fighting Falcon aircraft collided during night training
exercises Oct. 15 over the Atlantic Ocean about 40 miles east
of Folly Beach, S.C.
Captain Nicholas Giglio, from
the 20th Fighter Wing here, and his aircraft are missing and
a search is underway.
The second F-16, piloted by Capt.
Lee Bryant, was able to land safely at Charleston AFB, S.C. Captain
Bryant was unharmed.
Aircraft and surface vessels
of the U.S. Coast Guard are combing the ocean east of Charleston.
A board of officers will investigate
the accident. As additional details become available, they will
pilot reaches F-16 milestone
LUKE AIR FORCE BASE, Ariz. (AFNS) -- In January 1979, the first
operational F-16 Fighting Falcon was delivered to Hill Air Force
Base, Utah. Nearly 30 years later to the day, a pilot from here
has amassed 4,000 hours flying this workhorse of the air.
Col. David Lujan, 56th Operations
Group deputy commander, became the 17th pilot, according to Lockheed's
magazine, "Code One," ever to reach that milestone
when he flew this memorable sortie Dec. 22.
"It's pretty good company
to be with," said the command pilot who's been flying the
F-16 since 1988.
Colonel Lujan attributes his
many hours logged to having always been in flying assignments,
he said. After spending the equivalent of more than 166 straight
days flying in the F-16, he has no problems singing the jet's
"She has always brought
me home," he said. "Take-offs equal the landings which
is always a good thing. The 'Viper' jet is a wonderful machine,
which can be very unforgiving when you don't respect its limitations;
bottom line is that it's a sweetheart of a jet when you treat
The colonel said he has seen
the aircraft evolve from a very simple fighter to a very complex,
highly-capable war machine.
"This jet is the backbone
of our fighter force in the Air Force for the near future,"
he said. "It will perform its duties extremely well until
it gets replaced by the Joint Strike Fighter."
Of all the hours he's spent flying
the F-16, the hours he remembers best are from deployments, supporting
ground forces engaged in combat.
"I remember my first combat
sortie in [Operation] Desert Storm. That was interesting, to
say the least," Colonel Lujan said. "I also remember
cleaning the racks off in an Operation Iraqi Freedom combat sortie
with a motivated joint terminal attack controller this past August.
"I can guarantee you that
all the exciting sorties I have ever been in have one thread
in common," he said. "They were all air-to-ground in
support of the Army in combat operations. That ought to tell
you about the real mission of the F-16, right?"
Despite amassing 4,000 hours
and the years of experience in the Air Force, Colonel Lujan doesn't
look back and keeps his eyes on the horizon.
"It is not about how much
time you have logged that is important, it is about how well
you employ that aircraft in the future," he said. "The
future is today and tomorrow, not yesterday. An extensive logbook
is not the key to fighter aviation success, the key to success
in fighter aviation is how well you do your job right now and
in the future."
Iraqi general visits Luke, flies in F-16
LUKE AIR FORCE BASE, Ariz. (AFNS)
-- Ten years ago, Iraqi air force Brig. Gen. Ali al-Aaragy was
flying F-1 Mirage fighters for his country's air force, but on
Dec. 15 he was flying in an F-16 Fighting Falcon over Arizona.
The general, who works as his
country's air force adviser to the minister of defense, visited
Luke AFB to enhance the relationship and partnership between
the Iraqi air force and the U.S. Air Force.
"It was a dream come true
to fly in the F-16," the general said after his flight that
was piloted by Lt. Col. Jack Maixner, the 63rd Fighter Squadron
The general spent about 10 days
in the United States, first visiting Randolph AFB, Texas, where
he flew in the T-6 Texan and T-38 Talon, two aircraft he said
he hopes will soon be entering the Iraqi air force's inventory.
The general said the visit to the American bases allowed him
to see the current developments in training and fighter aircraft
for possible procurement by his country's government.
At Luke AFB, the Iraqi general
spoke with Brig. Gen. Kurt Neubauer, the 56th Fighter Wing commander,
who explained how Luke AFB is organized, managed and operates.
This was one of the most impressive aspects of the U.S. Air Force
he learned about during his trip, General Ali said.
"I like how each air base
is different and was surprised to see how they are managed,"
he said. "I would like to copy these air bases and place
them in Iraq."
Not only was the general impressed
with the way Air Force bases are managed, but partnership with
local communities was another factor he said was an impressive
aspect of the U.S. Air Force.
General Ali, who has 2,000 hours
in the French-made F-1 Mirage, praised the Air Force and what
it's done for his country and air force in Iraq.
"Our cooperation with the
Coalition Air Force Training Teams has led Iraq to be able to
protect the infrastructure, fight terrorists and insurgents and
protect Iraq's sovereignty," he said. "The Iraqi people
know that terrorism is a threat to Iraq and right now the Iraqi
army and air force enjoy good cooperation with the people in
regard to reporting suspicious activities."
After his visit to Luke AFB,
the general was scheduled to return to Iraq, bringing photos
and videos of his trip to not only show his government, but also
the Iraqi people, capabilities, partnership and friendship the
U.S. Air Force is giving Iraq.
"I want to thank the U.S.
Air Force for how they are helping us and trying to push the
Iraqi air force forward," General Ali said. "We are
working together as one team to rebuild the Iraqi air force."
The photos and videos shot by
Airmen from the 1st Combat Camera Squadron at Charleston AFB,
S.C., are to be aired on Iraqi national television Jan. 6 for
the Iraqi armed forces day.
"Through our television
channels, we will be able to show the people how the U.S. Air
Force is working with us to build a new Iraqi air force,"
the general said.
F-16 crashes south of Alamo Lake,
LUKE AIR FORCE BASE, Ariz. (AFPN)
-- An Air Force F-16 Fighting Falcon assigned to the 62nd Fighter
Squadron here crashed about 12:00 p.m. today south of Alamo Lake,
At the time of the accident, the F-16 was on an air-to-air student
training mission. One pilot was on board. The status of the pilot
is unknown at this time.
A board of officers will be convened to investigate the accident.
Thunderbirds receive first upgraded F-16
HILL AIR FORCE BASE, Utah (AFPN)
-- Hill Air Force Base officials rolled out the first of 11 configured
F-16 Fighting Falcons for the Air Force Thunderbirds aerial demonstration
During a ceremonial hand over
Oct. 24, attended by incoming 2008-2009 Thunderbirds commander
and lead pilot Lt. Col. Greg Thomas, and a full house of media,
military and civilian spectators, Ogden Air Logistics Center
officials presented the first converted jet to the aerial demonstration
Each aircraft will receive a
Block 52 upgrade, which includes the Falcon Structural Augmentation
Roadmap program, also known as Falcon STAR. The program replaces
or repairs the known life-limited structures. This avoids the
onset of widespread fatigue damage in order to maintain flight
safety, enhance aircraft availability and extend the life of
Additionally, the 309th Maintenance
Wing along with the 508th Aerospace Sustainment Wing, both under
the Ogden ALC, are partnering to remove the weapons system from
each aircraft and replace it with a smoke-generating system.
Each aircraft gets a new red, white and blue paint job too.
"If these aircraft were
needed in a combat situation, they can be reverted back to combat-ready
in three days," said 1st Lt. Elbert Mose, a program manager
in the 508th Aircraft Sustainment Group. "We have never
had a situation where that has happened, but in 72 hours we could
put the gun system back into a plane and (it would) be completely
Colonel Thomas said the delivery
of the first air show-ready Thunderbird at Hill is significant
to more than just would-be air show spectators.
"This is about more than
just fancy maneuvers in the sky," he said. "It's exciting
because you see the high level of dedication and commitment that
Team Hill has put into the airplane, and you know it's the same
product our warfighter Airmen are taking into combat."
Air Force officials already are
upgrading F-16's through the Common Configuration Implementation
Program. Ogden ALC workers are slated to de-modify an older series
of Thunderbirds to the Block 32 version in order to make them
combat ready, in addition to several other CCIP modifications
that occurred earlier this year.
These aircraft eventually will
replace the current Thunderbirds F-16s and should be ready for
the 2009 show season.
Balad F-16s destroy terrorist training camp
BALAD AIR BASE, Iraq (AFPN) --
F-16 Fighting Falcons from the 332nd Air Expeditionary Wing here
destroyed an al-Qaida training camp southwest of Baghdad July
In a coordinated attack, joint
air terminal controllers on the ground cleared seven F-16s to
drop 500-pound and 1,000-pound guided bombs on the terror complex
The precision-guided weapons
destroyed the target, degrading al-Qaida's ability to mount attacks
on the Iraqi government, coalition forces and innocent civilians.
The destruction of the terrorist
facility is part of aggressive and comprehensive operations to
hunt down, capture or kill terrorists trying to prevent a peaceful
and stable Iraq, said Col. Charles Moore, the 332nd Expeditionary
Operations Group commander.
"Our Airmen and other coalition
forces are helping Iraq achieve a stable government and ultimately,
helping the United States and our allies to defeat terrorism,"
A large part of the 332nd AEW's
combat effectiveness stems from the Air Force's culture of excellence.
"We train day-to-day to
make sure when we are called upon to deliver, we do it with precision
and professionalism," said Capt. Kevin Hicok, a pilot with
the 13th Expeditionary Fighter Squadron, deployed here from Misawa
Air Base, Japan.
and careful planning goes into every weapons drop," Captain
Hicok said, "to ensure that we have a positive ID on the
target and that everyone is on the same page."
The recent increase in air operations
is part of the coalition's increasing pressure on violent extremists,
primarily in Baghdad and nearby areas.
In a separate air strike north
of Baghdad July 22, another F-16 from Balad AB dropped a precision-guided
weapon on a terrorist weapons cache in a rural area, destroying
it and detonating the explosives stored inside.
"I could not be prouder
of the way our Airmen performed on Saturday," Colonel Moore
said. "The events of this past weekend once again demonstrate
the Air Force's ability to deliver decisive combat airpower any
place and at any time."
Force F-16 crashes in Iraq
BALAD AIR BASE, Iraq (AFPN) --
An Air Force F-16 deployed to the 332nd Air Expeditionary Wing
crashed on base during takeoff at 4:55 p.m. July 15.
The pilot of the single-seat
aircraft ejected safely and was transported to the Air Force
Theater Hospital for evaluation.
The aircraft was flying on a
combat mission in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom, providing
close air support to ground forces fighting anti-Iraq forces.
The cause of the accident is
incident at Eielson Air Force Base
EIELSON AIR FORCE BASE, Alaska
(AFPN) -- An F-15 Eagle and an F-16 Fighting Falcon were involved
in a midair collision over the Pacific Alaska Range Complex at
11:23 a.m. June 11. Both aircraft were participating in a training
The F-15, assigned to Langley
Air Force Base, Va., crashed in a rural area. The pilot ejected
safely and was transported to Bassett Army Community Hospital
at Fort Wainwright for evaluation.
Emergency response teams responded
to the incident. Although damaged, the F-16, assigned to the
64th Aggressor Squadron, Nellis AFB, Nev., was able to return
to Eielson safely. The pilot was uninjured.
A board of officers will investigate
the incident. Additional details will be provided as soon as
they become available.
(Courtesy of the 354th Fighter
Wing Public Affairs)
pilot receives Koren Kolligian Jr. Trophy
WASHINGTON (AFPN) -- Air Force
Vice Chief of Staff Gen. John D. W. Corley presented the Koren
Kolligian Jr. Trophy, one of the service's top safety awards,
to a fighter pilot during a ceremony June 5 in the Pentagon's
Hall of Heroes. Assisting in the presentation was Koren Kolligian,
nephew of the trophy's namesake.
The award recipient, Lt. Col.
Peter Byrne, was honored for an incident last June in which he
had a stroke while flying an F-16 Fighting Falcon out of Buckley
Air Force Base, Colo. Colonel Byrne kept his jet aloft for another
90 minutes before returning to Buckley.
"Living through a stroke
with immediate care is tough enough," General Corley said
of the Air National Guardsman. "To do it while flying an
F-16 is superhuman."
The Kolligian Trophy is awarded
annually for "outstanding feats of Airmanship by aircrew
members who by extraordinary skill, exceptional alertness, ingenuity
or proficiency, averted accidents or minimized the seriousness
of accidents in terms of injury, loss of life, aircraft damage
or property damage."
Colonel Byrne's decisive actions
and ability to cope with the traumatic event prevented a potentially
catastrophic mishap. While engaged in tactical combat maneuvers,
he felt a pinching in his neck, what would later be diagnosed
as the dissection of his vertebral artery.
"I could barely move my
arms or hands," said Colonel Byrne, 140th Wing vice commander.
"It took every bit of concentration I had just to get the
Fighting vertigo, pain and nausea,
Colonel Byrne said his primary concern was avoiding populated
areas in case he had to eject. His wingmen quickly came to his
aid and flew with him for the next hour and a half, helping him
With fuel running low, Colonel
Byrne's symptoms eased enough for him to coax the F-16 back to
Buckley for a perfect landing.
"By some miracle, I was
able to land," Colonel Byrne said. "I credit my survival
in the air to my wingmen and I credit my survival on the ground
to the discipline and efforts of the crews on the ground. They
saved my life. It's truly an honor to receive this award."
The trophy is named after 1st
Lt. Koren Kolligian Jr., a pilot whose T-33 Shooting Star went
missing off the California coast in 1955.
Four more F-16s to be delivered
WRIGHT-PATTERSON AFB, Ohio (AFPN)
-- Four more F-16s are scheduled to arrive in Poland Dec. 14
as part of a second wave of a 48-aircraft delivery and a $3.8
billion program executed by Aeronautical Systems Center and the
Air Force Security Assistance Center here.
The F-16 deliveries are part
of the Poland Peace Sky Program, a Foreign Military Sales effort
that began in April 2003 and is managed by the U.S. Air Force
for the United States.
The first four aircraft delivered
under the program arrived in country Nov. 9 amid much fanfare.
Numerous dignitaries for both countries attended the arrival
ceremony, including Polish President Lech Kaczynski, First Lady
Maria Kaczynski, Minister of Defense Radek Sikorski, U.S. Ambassador
to Poland Victor Ashe and Commander of U.S. Air Forces in Europe
Gen. Tom Hobbins.
The program promises to build
stronger relations between the two countries and advance mutual
security interests for the NATO and coalition partners as they
train and operate together.
According to Steve Nix, F-16
Poland security assistance program manager with the 643rd Aeronautical
Systems Squadron here, numerous ASC program offices support Poland
"The F-16 Poland System
acquisition program is managed by the 643rd AESS with numerous
key team members here at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base,"
said Mr. Nix. "Various other program offices manage specific
components of the program, including engine acquisition, aircrew
training systems, sensors, the Joint Helmet-Mounted Cueing System,
the Embedded GPS Inertial Navigation System and the Common Munitions
Bit Reprogramming Equipment."
In addition to ASC's and AFSAC's
program execution role, the Defense Security Cooperation Agency
and Air Force International Affairs led a team effort involving
numerous organizations in developing the Poland Peace Sky Program.
Deliveries will take place until
December 2008, with the country to receive a total of 36 F-16C
and 12 F-16D models.
The Polish F-16s will be the
most advanced fighter aircraft in NATO. Worldwide, 24 air forces
fly more than 4,300 F-16s combined.
A ceremonial rollout of the first
Polish F-16 took place at the Lockheed Martin production facility
in Fort Worth, Texas, Sept. 15. The aircraft purchase by Poland
constitutes the first such buy from the United States by a former
Warsaw Pact country.
F-16 pilot status
SOUTHWEST ASIA (AFPN) -- Maj.
Troy L. Gilbert, the pilot of the Air Force F-16 Fighting Falcon
engaged in support of coalition ground combat operations that
crashed approximately 20 miles northwest of Baghdad Nov. 27,
was officially listed as killed in action.
Positive identification was made
through DNA analysis by the Armed Forces Medical Examiner.
"Our thoughts and prayers
remain with the Gilbert family as they grieve the loss of a husband,
father, son, son-in-law and Air Force warrior and patriot,"
said Lt. Gen. Gary North, commander of U.S. Central Command Air
Forces. "His loss is felt by Troy's entire Air Force family."
Major Gilbert was flying in direct
support of coalition ground combat operations when his plane
crashed Nov. 27. Until the positive identification was made on
Dec. 1 from human remains recovered from the crash site, U.S.
Central Command Air Forces had listed Maj. Gilbert as "duty
status whereabouts unknown." The cause of the crash is under
Major Gilbert was assigned to
the 309th Fighter Squadron at Luke Air Force Base, Ariz., and
was deployed to the 332nd Air Expeditionary Wing at Balad Air
F-16 fleet prepares for 'Falcon STAR'
By Senior Airman Stephen
8th Fighter Wing Public Affairs
KUNSAN AIR BASE, South Korea
(AFPN) -- The Block 30 F-16 Fighting Falcons assigned to the
80th Fighter Squadron here are set to enter upgrade in the Air
Force's Falcon Structural Augmentation Roadmap program aimed
at extending the service life of the aircraft.
The improvement to the fleet follows previous air-to-ground dominance
to air-to-air interdiction upgrades to adapt to an ever-changing
mission, officials here said.
Over the years, each F-16 aged more than four times as fast when
compared to the original design conceived by General Dynamics
and the Air Force in the 1970s. The F-16 remains the fighter
of choice for U.S. Forces Korea, said Capt. Christopher Lombardo,
the 8th Maintenance Operations Squadron operations officer.
He added that as the F-16 continues to adapt to an evolving mission,
attaining the aircraft's mandated service life of 8,000 hours
"is critically important to the aircraft sustainment community."
"Quite simply, Falcon STAR replaces the structural components
that are aging prematurely," Captain Lombardo said. "After
the modification, the aircraft will have the newest and most
reliable materials needed to take the aircraft through its designed
Each aircraft has a new maximum operational weight of approximately
39,000 pounds, due to its use of an array of weaponry from Global
Positioning System guided bombs to radar-guided, air-to-air missiles.
The previous designed weight for the F-16 was 22,500 pounds.
Because of the extra stress put on these airframes, 8th Fighter
Wing leaders, in an alliance with Korea Aerospace Industries,
are working together to update and harden several areas of the
aircraft, including the frame, support beams and bulkheads.
"This modification benefits the Air Force, because we're
extending the life span of the F-16," Captain Lombardo said.
"Not only does this modification increase the reliability
of the aircraft structure, but it indirectly reduces the ...
sustainment costs by replacing aging items with durable materials."
Modifications on two aircraft are already under way and expected
to be complete by February. Each F-16 at Kunsan should have its
Falcon STAR upgrades completed by early 2008. Falcon STAR is
also supported by Air Force Reserve and Air National Guard units
supporting F-16 operations.
F-16 crash investigation begins
SOUTHWEST ASIA (AFPN) -- The
interim safety investigation board convened by U.S. Central Command
Air Forces has begun its efforts to gather evidence to determine
what caused an Air Force F-16 Fighting Falcon to crash approximately
20 miles northwest of Baghdad at about 1:35 p.m. Nov. 27.
The single-seat jet was in direct
support of extensive coalition ground combat operations when
it crashed in an uninhabited field.
Coalition reconnaissance assets
and fighter aircraft were overhead when the crash occurred and
confirmed that insurgents were in the vicinity of the crash site
immediately following the crash.
Ground forces secured the crash
scene Nov. 27 as soon as the combat operations in the area ceased.
The primary concerns of USCENTAF in responding to this incident
have been the safety of coalition forces and the recovery of
The pilot was not found at the
crash site and his status cannot be confirmed at this time. The
investigation board has collected DNA samples from the crash
site and will release results upon completion of testing.
The F-16 was deployed to the
332nd Air Expeditionary Wing at Balad Air Base, Iraq. The accident
investigation convening authority is Air Combat Command.
Board Convened to Examine
WASHINGTON - The Air Force has
convened an investigative board to look into the crash of an
F-16 Fighting Falcon engaged in combat operations over Iraq yesterday.
The board will look into what
caused the F-16CG single-seat fighter to crash about 20 miles
northwest of Baghdad around 1:35 p.m.
The pilot of the craft is officially
listed as duty status: whereabouts unknown, coalition
spokesman Army Maj. Gen. William Caldwell said during a Baghdad
news conference today.
While the cause of the crash
is unknown, there is nothing to suggest that insurgents shot
down the aircraft Caldwell said. The aircraft was part of the
332nd Air Expeditionary Wing, at Balad Air Base, Iraq.
Air Force Brig. Gen. Stephen
Hoog, air component coordination element director for Multinational
Force Iraq, said the fighter was part of a troops in contact
operation. The aircraft was under operational control of ground
commanders at the time of the incident.
Hoog said officials have retrieved
DNA material from the site and that it will take two to four
days to analyze the material.
Immediately after the crash,
other aircraft and surveillance assets were over the site, the
general said. Those assets did observe insurgents in the
vicinity of the crash site, he added.
A quick-reaction force secured
the area as soon as combat operations in the area finished. Hoog
said officials found the ejection seat, but it wasnt possible
to determine if the pilot had used the seat or not.
F-16 crashes northwest of Baghdad
SOUTHWEST ASIA (AFPN) -- A U.S.
Air Force F-16 Fighting Falcon engaged in support of coalition
ground combat operations crashed approximately 20 miles northwest
of Baghdad Nov. 27 at about 1:35 p.m. Baghdad time with one pilot
on board. A board will be convened to investigate the incident.
Poland Receives First F-16s
POZNAN, Poland - The first F-16
Fighting Falcons acquired by the Polish air force arrived at
the 31st Air Base here Nov. 9 and were featured at a special
Gen. Tom Hobbins, Allied Air
Component commander and U.S. Air Forces in Europe commander,
represented the Air Force chief of staff at the event which included
speeches by the Polish president, as well as a blessing of the
aircraft and consecration ceremony.
"Poland's acquisition of
the F-16 cements the relationship between the U.S. Air Force
and the Polish air force for several decades to come," said
General Hobbins. "This ceremony demonstrates that Poland
has become a very powerful and more vital member of NATO than
The aircraft arrival marked a
great leap forward for Poland as they transform from aging Soviet-style
equipment to some of the most advanced systems in Europe and
NATO, the general said.
"Poland's F-16s represent
the most sophisticated aircraft in Eastern Europe and will serve
as a military-to-military engagement magnet for forces in Europe,"
he said. "These aircraft are extremely capable in any of
the NATO roles, whether they're utilized in counter-air missions
in the NATO Response Force, or air defense with the International
Security Assistance Force in Afghanistan."
In addition to the sophistication
aspect of the aircraft, the F-16 acquisition improves interoperability
between NATO nations.
"From an interoperability
standpoint, air policing will be one of the things that will
be greatly enhanced as Poland brings down the MIG-29s and begins
to develop operational F-16s to do that role," the general
To prepare the Polish air force
for the arrival of their new aircraft, Polish pilots and maintainers
trained with their American counterparts in the U.S. to learn
about the F-16's capabilities.
"There is a flow of Polish
pilots going through training in the U.S. right now and coming
back to Poland," said Lt. Col. Eric Salomonson, an instructor
pilot with the Arizona Air National Guard's 162nd Fighter Wing.
"We currently have 11 pilots training in Arizona now."
Lt. Col. Salomonson said the
Air Force is currently helping and assisting the Polish with
standing up their squadron in Poland, as well as rotating mobile
training teams through to assist with aircraft maintenance.
As the Polish air force acquires
a total of 48 F-16s over the next two years, the U.S. will continue
to provide exchanges with their Polish counterparts to improve
their F-16 partnerships and capabilities.
Spangdahlem F-16 crashes
SPANGDAHLEM AIR BASE, Germany
(AFPN) -- A 22nd Fighter Squadron F-16 Fighting Falcon crashed
at 1 p.m. local time Sept. 14 near the town of Oberkail, about
10 miles north of this busy fighter base.
The pilot ejected safely and is in good condition, said Staff
Sgt. Tammie Moore, a spokesperson for the 52nd Fighter Wing.
The aircraft was on a training mission. Initial reports show
that the aircraft only damaged trees and the field on impact,
Sergeant Moore said. The region of Germany where the base is
located, known as the Eifel, is an area of rolling hills and
wooded areas. The area also has many farms.
Emergency crews from the base and local German authorities, including
firefighters, medical personnel and security forces, are on the
scene. Air Force officials are working closely with their German
counterparts at the scene. The first responders established a
5,000-foot cordon around the accident site.
Base officials said a board of Air Force officials will investigate
the cause of the accident.
The fighter wing maintains, deploys and employs F-16 and A-10
Thunderbolt II ground attack aircraft. It supports U.S. Air Forces
in Europe, U.S. European Command and NATO. The area of responsibility
in which the unit operates reaches from the Arctic Circle to
South Africa and from the eastern shore of the Atlantic Ocean
to the Middle East.
Two F-16s reach milestone
By 1st Lt. Adrienne Stahl
332nd Expeditionary Aircraft Maintenance Squadron
BALAD AIR BASE, Iraq -- Two F-16
Fighting Falcons assigned to the 421st Expeditionary Fighter
Squadron passed 6,000 flying hours during two recent Operation
Iraqi Freedom combat missions over Iraq.
Flown by Lt. Col. Mark Cline, 421st EFS commander, and Capt.
Nick Edwards, aircraft numbers 88-0471 and 88-0428 were the first
Block 40 F-16s to achieve this milestone in combat.
This accomplishment is rare, officials said. Only one other Block
40 F-16 in the Air Force inventory has reached the 6,000 flying-hour
Designers of the F-16 forecasted the aircraft design life to
be 8,000 flying hours, according to Lockheed Martin officials.
However, Air Force officials expect the F-16 to be in service
beyond the year 2020, taking the jets beyond 8,000 flight hours.
Aircraft 88-0428 was accepted into service in September 1989
and aircraft 88-0471 was accepted in January 1990 and assigned
to the 388th Fighter Wing at Hill Air Force Base, Utah, ever
since. Both were deployed in support of Operation Desert Storm,
four times in support of Operation Southern Watch and three times
in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom.
The crew chief on aircraft 88-0471 is Senior Airman Trent Nelson,
with assistants Senior Airman Jason Wall and Senior Airman Tom
Manues. The crew chief on aircraft 88-0428 is Senior Airman Victor
Alvarez with assistant Senior Airman James Speicher.
"It is an honor to crew such a great jet, especially doing
what she was made for here in a combat zone," Airman Nelson
said. "It's a great feeling to crew the flagship and launch
Colonel Cline for a milestone like this, but it's just the pride
of the squadron taking care of business."
Upgrades and improvements to the engines and parts of the jets
through the Service-Life Extension Program have helped extend
the life of these aircraft, said Capt. Mark Sloan, 421st Aircraft
Maintenance Unit officer in charge.
For these jets to have reached this milestone is a testament
to the maintenance professionals who work these jets every day,
said Chief Master Sgt. Dave Edwards, 421st AMU noncommissioned
officer in charge.
"I've seen these jets roll over the 3,000, 4,000 and 5,000
flying hour mark, and the incredible thing is that after all
these hours, they are flying as well today as they did when they
were accepted off the production line," the chief said.
"The reason these jets have performed this well, for this
long, is the blood, sweat and tears the maintainers pour into
ACC releases details on Shaw F-16 crash
LANGLEY AIR FORCE BASE, Va. (AFPN)
-- An F-16CJ Fighting Falcon pilot ejected from his aircraft
over the Atlantic Ocean April 5 after experiencing a gravity-induced
loss of consciousness and awaking to find his aircraft in an
unrecoverable dive, according to an Air Combat Command report
released today. The pilot suffered serious injuries during the
high-speed ejection, which took place while the aircraft was
traveling in excess of 750 miles per hour. The aircraft, assigned
to the 20th Fighter Wing at Shaw Air Force Base, S.C., crashed
into the ocean approximately 80 miles northeast of Charleston,
S.C., and was destroyed. The cost of the aircraft loss is estimated
at nearly $23 million.
At the time of the incident the pilot was performing a high-gravity
maneuver during a basic fighter maneuver training mission.
The investigating officer concluded there was substantial evidence
that physical fatigue from flying five high-G sorties in three
days, an extended layoff from flying and the mental stress associated
with his instructor pilot upgrade training were contributing
factors to the pilot's loss of consciousness.
F-16 airstrike kills al-Zarqawi
COMBINED AIR OPERATIONS CENTER,
Southwest Asia (AFPN) -- Two U.S. Air Force F-16C Fighting Falcons,
supporting coalition actions in Operation Iraqi Freedom, dropped
precision munitions near Baquba, Iraq, on June 7, killing al
Qaida's leader in Iraq, Abu Musab al-Zarqawi and other terrorists.
The aircraft, assigned to U.S. Central Command Air Forces, dropped
two precision-guided 500-pound bombs, a GBU-12 laser-guided bomb
and a GBU-38 joint direct attack munition, destroying an isolated
terrorist safe house, where al-Zarqawi and other terrorists were
"The death of al-Zarqawi, and his accomplices, is a tremendous
success for the Iraqi people and the coalition forces in the
collective fight against al-Qaida in Iraq and the war on terror,"
said Lt. Gen. Gary North, commander of U.S. Central Command Air
U.S. and coalition military aircrews, aircraft and support personnel
provide 24/7 air and space power in support of coalition ground
forces. Close-air support, air refueling, airlift, aeromedical
evacuation, electronic warfare, intelligence, surveillance and
reconnaissance aircraft and remotely piloted vehicles have provided
critical air component support to U.S. Central Command ground
and naval forces during operations Iraqi Freedom and Enduring
"As clearly stated by Prime Minister Maliki, every time
a Zarqawi appears, we will kill him," General North said.
"Although this is a time for celebration, let it be clear
to all terrorists that our efforts continue, and we will not
rest until they have been captured or killed and the people of
Iraq and Afghanistan enjoy the freedom they deserve."
tests pod at 'LITENING' speed
By Senior Airman Francesca Carrano
95th Air Base Wing Public Affairs
EDWARDS AIR FORCE BASE, Calif.
(AFPN) -- Three Air Force units have started accelerated testing
of a LITENING-AT targeting pod. ;The 416th Flight Test Squadron
;here is ;working ;with the 85th Operational Test and Evaluation
Squadron at Eglin Air Force Base, Fla., and the 422nd OTES at
Nellis AFB, Nev., to ;update the existing LITENING pod with several
new capabilities for ;warfighters, including a video downlink
transmitter currently used in the Predator Unmanned Aerial Vehicle.
"The transmitter, called the ;ROVER Module, was pulled out
of the Predator and allows the video the pilot is looking at
to be immediately, real-time downlinked to a ground station in
the form of a laptop computer held by the joint terminal attack
controllers," said Maj. Alan Wigdahl, 416th FLTS chief of
flight safety and an experimental test pilot. ; ROVER is the
Remotely Operated Video Enhanced Receiver. ;
The videos can also be transmitted to ground commanders, allowing
them to make immediate decisions about a target. This capability
will give troops greater situational awareness while minimizing
the amount of time the F-16 Fighting Falcon must spend in the
"This means the F-16 can stay far away, without alerting
the enemy of our presence and give us real-time video for downlink
to ground forces engaged in combat operations," said Andy
Bromsey, 416th FLTS project manager for the LITENING-AT plug-and-play
A test acceleration gives priority to a test program here, enabling
the test team to deliver a proven system directly to the warfighter
in the least possible time.
"All the tests we do at Edwards are important," ;Major
Wigdahl said. "However, there are some, as in the case of
the LITENING AT pod, that are direct requests from the guys over
in the Middle East who need a new or improved capability as soon
The team focuses on efficient testing, making sure they get the
capability fully evaluated and out to the warfighter, said Kris
Peterson, 416th FLTS armaments engineer.
"With a critical schedule it doesn't pay to go up there
and waste any time," Mr. Peterson said. "But we don't
skip any of the processes we already have in place because they're
designed to create efficient, safe testing. The challenge we
have with test accelerations is we have to accelerate everything
within a set time frame."
In mid-March, the F-16 systems group at Wright-Patterson AFB,
Ohio, forwarded an urgent need request for a new capability to
be delivered to U.S. Central Command.
"As soon as we received the tasking, we put the Edwards'
program management planning tool into action," Mr. Bromsey
said. "Within hours we were able to establish complete support
for the test (acceleration) and analyze the effects on other
test projects within the squadron."
One way of accelerating the test process was having the units
from Nellis and Eglin work alongside the 416th FLTS.
Major Wigdahl said that, historically, developmental test and
evaluation determined if a system worked safely and as designed,
and operational test and evaluation determined if the system
met the warfighter's needs.
"In today's leaner Air Force, we've been able to combine
developmental and operational testing by hosting (operational
test) pilots here at Edwards or by deploying our teams to Eglin
or Nellis," Major Wigdahl said. "These combined efforts
are paying huge dividends by saving test resources and by improving
the combat capabilities of the systems under test."
This new capability is scheduled to be operational, in theater,
July 1. ;
(Courtesy of Air Force Materiel Command News Service)
Pakistan to buy F-16s
By Farhan Bokhari in
Pakistans cabinet on Wednesday
gave clearance to the purchase of up to 77 F-16 fighter planes
from the US, marking a significant expansion for the countrys
The Pakistani government did not reveal the price it would pay
for the deal, nor did it say when the aircraft would be delivered.
But according to western diplomats in Islamabad, the F-16s could
cost Pakistan U$3-3.5bn.
While announcing the cabinets
agreement to the F-16 purchase, Sheikh Rashid Ahmed, Pakistans
information minister, revealed that the cabinet had also given
approval for the purchase of an unspecified number of Chinese
fighter aircraft known as FC-10s.
Last November, General Pervez
Musharraf, Pakistans military ruler, suspended plans for
the purchase of new fighter aircraft. Pakistan was then concerned
that donors eager to help deal with the aftermath of a devastating
earthquake would pull out if the country planned to spend money
on planes. Pakistan was seeking more than U$6bn in international
aid for relief and reconstruction work. Foreign donors have now
offered about $6.2bn.
Obviously, General Musharraf
is confident that the worst following the earthquake is now comfortably
behind Pakistan, said a senior western diplomat in Islamabad.
Buying the aircraft could help
General Musharraf politically. Pakistani nationalists have questioned
his support for the US-led war on terror, saying the US often
benefits more from the relationship than Pakistan.
The failure to secure new
F-16s was often cited as evidence of a policy failure in relations
with the US, said a senior Pakistani official, after Wednesdays
cabinet meeting. Now, a new agreement for F-16s could help
to address that failure.
Pilot in F-16 crash treated and released
LUKE AIR FORCE BASE, Ariz. (AFPN)
-- The F-16 Fighting Falcon student pilot whose plane crashed
April 11 was treated and released from a local medical center
after safely ejecting from the aircraft. Capt. Jason Attaway,
assigned to the 62nd Fighter Squadron, was on a two-ship student
training mission heading toward an air-to-air training area to
perform basic fighter maneuvers when the incident occurred. ;
The flight lead pilot circled the area, notified base officials
and flew over the crash site to communicate with the captain
on the ground. Captain Attaway has logged approximately 30 hours
of flying time in an F-16.
The incident occurred in Luke's southern departure corridor.
This is an area where base officials have worked closely with
local, county and state officials to ensure compatible civilian
growth in conjunction with safe flight operations.
A safety board has 30 days to complete the investigation. The
board president will determine during this time when the aircraft
can be removed from the crash site.
Approximately 150 flights per day are flown at Luke Air Force
Base. The base hosts the largest fighter wing in the Air Force
and graduated 431 student pilots in 2005.
During beginning Air Force flight training, students receive
initial egress instruction where they learn basic ejection procedures,
parachute operations and parachute landing falls. Students also
receive refresher egress training in an F-16 ejection seat every
Shaw pilot located after crash
SHAW AIR FORCE BASE, S.C. (AFPN)
-- The pilot of the F-16 Fighting Falcon assigned ;here that
crashed April 5 at around 5:40 p.m. was found by the U.S. Coast
Guard about two hours later and taken to a nearby U.S. Navy ship
for stabilization. ;
Capt. Ted Shultz, assigned to the 55th Fighter Squadron here,
was then transported via Coast Guard helicopter to a hospital
in Charleston, S.C., for further treatment, Coast Guard officials
said. No details have been provided on his current condition.
The aircraft crashed about 35 miles off the coast of South Carolina.
At the time of the accident, Captain Shultz was participating
in a training mission. ;
A board of officers will investigate the accident.
F-16 Fighting Falcon
covers multiple missions
by Senior Airman Joel Mease
20th Fighter Wing Public Affairs
SHAW AIR FORCE BASE, S.C. (AFPN)
-- Hundreds of physical and mental training hours go into being
a part of one of the most advanced careers in the world -- an
F-16 Fighting Falcon pilot.
The F-16s multiple missions,
such as air-to-air and air-to-ground combat, make it one of the
most versatile aircraft in the Air Force, said Capt. Charlie
Wolfsandle, 55th Fighter Squadron assistant training officer.
To be selected to fly the F-16,
an individual has to pass a battery of physical and mental tests.
Pilots are selected for training when they receive a commission
and are then sent to initial pilot training. Those selected to
fly the F-16 during initial training are then sent to Luke Air
Force Base, Ariz., for F-16 training, said Maj. Mike Sadlowski,
55th FS B-Flight commander.
Pilots must be in good physical
condition to handle the stresses the F-16 puts on a body when
flying, Major Sadlowski said.
"The F-16 can pull (nine
times the force of gravity) which is more than any other aircraft
in the Air Force," Major Sadlowski said.
When a pilot pulls positive Gs,
blood is pulled to the feet. When pulling negative Gs, blood
is sent to the head, Major Sadlowski said.
Because of the gravity changes,
any movement a pilot makes is magnified and causes the pilot
to put more effort into any activity he or she performs, Captain
Besides the physical challenges,
there is a lot of mental work required of a pilot before taking
off, the major said.
Flight preparation begins a day
before the flight. A pilot has to consider the number of jets
flying, the route the pilot will be taking, the configuration
of the jet for the mission and what the potential weather will
be, he said.
When the pilots report for their
flight they have more pre-flight briefings and inspect the aircraft,
"There is really around
six to seven hours of prep time for a one-to-two hour flight,"
Major Sadlowski said.
The most difficult mental challenge
is paying close attention to the details.
"With such an advanced weapons
system, a pilot always has to be looking in the books to keep
up to date with the latest systems," Major Sadlowski said.
A pilot must be ready to learn
new things and adapt to new surroundings, Captain Wolfsandle
Paying attention to the small
details and keeping up to date with new knowledge allows pilots
to survive when something goes wrong. Since the F-16 is a single-engine
jet, pilots have to know what do when a malfunction occurs because
of how fast things will happen in the air, the captain said.
"Since the start of training,
you begin to memorize the emergency checklists, and if you forget
they won't let you fly," Captain Wolfsandle said.
Both pilots agree that even with
all their training and prep work, they cannot accomplish their
mission without everyone's support on the base.
"Every Airman on this base
is doing something to support us. Without them we wouldn't even
be able to get the jet up in the air," Captain Wolfsandle
F-16 HAS SUCCESSFUL FIRST FLIGHT
FORT WORTH, Texas - Lockheed
Martin [NYSE: LMT] announces successful completion of the maiden
flight of the first Polish F-16 aircraft. The flight took place
in Ft. Worth, Texas, USA and marks a key milestone in the success
of the Peace Sky program. The F-16 flown yesterday is part of
a 48-aircraft order by the Government of Poland and is planned
for delivery to the Polish Air Force later this year.
Lockheed Martin successfully
completed the maiden flight of the first Polish F-16 on March
14, 2006. The flight took place in Ft. Worth, Texas, USA and
marks a key milestone in the success of the Peace Sky program.
The F-16 is part of a 48-aircraft order by the Government of
Poland and is planned for delivery to the Polish Air Force later
The pilot for the first flight
was Paul Hattendorf, a company test pilot for Lockheed Martin.
He performed numerous system checks, including engine throttle
transients at various altitudes and radar checks using a photo
chase F-16 as a simulated target. Hattendorf also took the aircraft
to supersonic speeds and performed high-g maneuvers during the
flight, which lasted just over an hour. After several additional
check flights by both company and U.S. Air Force test pilots,
this first Polish F-16 is scheduled to be ferried to Edwards
AFB, Calif., in April for more system-specific testing.
The Poland Peace Sky program
continues to progress right on schedule, said Irma Sippel,
director of the Poland F-16 program. First flight is a
significant milestone and the first of several leading to the
planned arrival of the aircraft in Poland later this year. We
continue to be excited about our progress and about meeting our
The F-16, selected by 24 countries,
is the multi-role fighter of choice. It has more than 12 million
flight hours among more than 4,300 aircraft produced.
The record number of customer
reorders reinforces the value of this incredible fighter, which
shares technological enhancements with the 5TH Generation F-22
and F-35 Joint Strike Fighter, said June Shrewsbury, vice
president of F-16 programs. Todays F-16 is the most
advanced fighter in international service. It is the most combat-tested
multi-role aircraft, carrying the most up-to-date weapons and
having lowest possible acquisition, operation and support costs.
When delivered, Polish F-16s
will be the most advanced in NATO. Features of the Block 52+
include an AN/APG-68(V) 9 radar fire control system and a Sniper
Extended Range pod, which is an advanced targeting pod designed
with an infrared pointer, laser, day TV, forward looking infrared,
laser spot tracker and advanced algorithms. The pod delivers
superior tracking performance and reliability. Additionally,
the multi-role fighter developed for Poland is equipped with
a helmet-mounted cueing system used for directing precision guided
munitions and off-boresight missiles as well as for increasing
pilot situational awareness. The aircraft is designed to be fully
interoperable with NATO and European Union missions.
Headquartered in Bethesda, Md.,
Lockheed Martin employs about 135,000 people worldwide and is
principally engaged in the research, design, development, manufacture,
integration and sustainment of advanced technology systems, products
and services. The corporation reported 2005 sales of $37.2 billion.
F-16 crashes into Korean
KUNSAN AIR BASE, South Korea
-- An Air Force F-16C Fighting Falcon from the 35th Fighter Squadron
here crashed into the West Sea during a training mission at about
9:30 a.m. today.
The aircraft's pilot ejected safely and was rescued by a South
Korean air force helicopter at about 10:25 a.m.
The pilot was transported to the Kunsan Air Base medical clinic
and is in good condition.
Eight Fighter Wing leaders praised the swift response of the
Korean HH-60 helicopter crew that recovered the pilot from waters
estimated at 41 degrees by base weather officials.
"Today's rescue shows the great cooperation and support
we receive from our ROKAF partners and reaffirms the benefit
of joint training," said Col. Brian Bishop, wing commander.
"We're very happy that the pilot has been safely recovered
and is back at Kunsan in good condition."
A board of qualified officers is investigating the accident.
F16 crashes in capital; no casualties
ABU DHABI Military authorities
have started an investigation into the crash of an F16 Falcon
block 60 fighter plane which was reported officially by the UAE
Armed Forces Headquarters yesterday.
There were no casualties in the
incident. This variant of the Lockheed Martin built F16 is regarded
as one of the worlds most versatile multi-role fighter
aircraft and has been hailed as a significant addition to the
UAE Air Force capability. Official sources declined to release
details on how the crash occurred, but said an investigation
was under way to determine the cause of the accident.
The source said the crash occurred yesterday morning. An official
statement carried by Emirates News Agency (Wam) said the
pilot landed safely after ejecting from the crashing plane.
Attempts by your favourite No.
1 newspaper Khaleej Times to get more details on the crash from
the UAE Armed Forces Headquarters last night were not successful.
An aircraft purchase, originally announced in 1998 for the Block
60 F16 fighter, came to fruition in May last year with
delivery of the first batch of aircraft.
The contract for 80 aircraft
is understood to be worth $6.4 billion and it saw the fighter
delivered with some of the most modern equipment and systems
available, including new cockpit displays, advanced mission computer
and internal sensor suite. With many advanced features, the fighter
has the flexibility to be deployed in a range of roles. The F16
was selected by the UAE in May 1998 after an intensive evaluation
process. According to Lockheed Martin, the F-16 is the world's
most successful and sought-after fighter. The UAE was the 21st
country to order the F-16.
The F16 will be the Superstar
of the Aerobatics Show 2006, to be hosted by Al Ain city during
the Eid Al Adha holidays, according to Staff Maj-Gen Pilot Khalid
Abdullah Al Buainain, Commander of Air Force and Air Defence.
He recently unveiled that the UAEs air force and air defence
would have strong presence at the show. The Lockheed Martin F-16
Fighting Falcon, the first of the US Air Force multi-role fighter
aircraft, is regarded as the worlds most prolific fighter
with more than 2,000 in service with the USAF and 2,000 operational
with 23 other countries.
Romania seal F-16 sale deal
Washington OKs deal between Romania
and Israel; Bucharest will purchase dozens of F-16 aircrafts
from Israel; deal worth USD 150 million
Under a plan to overhaul its air force Romania has turned to
Israel for assistance. The East European country prefers to buy
the most advanced fighter jets available on the market yet the
price tag for the newest F-16 is likely to pierce a hole in Bucharests
Romania has therefore decided to purchase older versions of the
renowned American-made jet from the Israel Defense Forces, which
is also replacing its F-16 A and F-16 B fleets with F-16 I jets.
The IDF has set up a special committee to coordinate the various
stages of what seems to be a complicated deal that will cost
Romania an estimated USD 150 million.
Under the deal, Israeli contractor Elbit Systems will oversee
the upgrading and maintenance of the fleet sold to Romania. Elbit
is known to having updated MiG 21 fighters for the Romania air
force in the past.
Other Israeli companies will also be contracted to upgrade Romanias
old fleet with advanced Israeli-made systems.
Israel is hoping that the successful deal will open the gate
for more deals with other countries. This is no straightforward
business however. Israel needs Washingtons approval for
selling F-16 jets and other American-made military platforms.
The deal with Romania was approved by the American government
and Lockheed Martin, the U.S. aircraft manufacturer, with no
hurdles since Romania is a NATO member.
The U.S. refused to allow Israeli companies to upgrade fighter
jets for the Venezuelan army in light of the political tension
between Washington and Caracas.
F-16 crashes, Airmen eject safely
SHAW AIR FORCE BASE, S.C.
(AFPN) -- An F-16D Fighting Falcon from here crashed April 18
near Charleston, S.C.
At the time of the accident,
the pilots, Maj. Steve Granger and Lt. Col. Maurice Salcedo,
had just begun a training mission. They ejected safely into a
river near Charleston and were taken to a local hospital where
they were treated and released.
The aircraft was assigned to
the 77th Fighter Squadron.
A board of officers will investigate
give feedback on F-16 upgrade
by Susan Ferns
Aeronautical Systems Center Public Affairs
- WRIGHT-PATTERSON AIR FORCE
BASE, Ohio (AFPN) -- F-16 Fighting Falcon pilots from Shaw Air
Force Base, S.C., were here recently to give feedback to members
of the F-16 Systems Group on upgrades made to the aircraft.
Lt. Col. John Montgomery, 55th
Fighter Squadron commander, and Capt. Jim Govin, a 55th FS pilot,
flew two of the newly modified F-16s here. The 55th FS is the
first continental U.S. squadron to receive the aircraft with
the Common Configuration Implementation Program upgrade.
The pilots spent an afternoon
with group officials, briefing them on integrating the modifications
into the flying unit and answering questions about the modified
The purpose of the event was
not only to get feedback on the current performance of the upgrade,
but also to continue working with the pilots to ensure that the
group is meeting current and future warfighter needs, said Col.
Scott Jansson, F-16 Systems Group commander. As the enhanced
capabilities change the F-16s role and mission, the group
will continue to upgrade the weapon system to support them, officials
This is a huge honor ...
because this is where the F-16 started. Thank you for what you
do, Colonel Montgomery said.
With the upgrade the F-16 is
the one aircraft out there that has the entire picture,
enabling it to engage in network-centric warfare, he said.
The modification involves installing
a new avionics suite, which improves survivability and lethality,
said Lt. Col. George Barber, the groups chief of modernization.
The upgrade consists of five
major components that provide advanced capabilities to the aircraft.
-- A new mission computer for
increased processor power.
-- Color displays to communicate
more information efficiently, giving pilots increased situational
awareness of the battle space.
-- An air-to-air interrogator
to allow F-16 pilots to communicate with other aircraft that
appear on its radar.
-- An Internet-like system to
enhance communication with coalition aircraft.
-- A helmet system that displays
information on the pilots visor and permits the pilot to
lock on targets just by looking at them.
This is a complicated upgrade,
with a high modification rate, and we are doing it in coordination
with the (air and space expeditionary force) rotation cycle to
avoid any disruption of the Air Force mission, Colonel
The modification program is designed
to upgrade about 650 Air Force and the Air National Guard F-16s
through 2010, costing more than $2 billion. Colonel Jansson said
it is the largest F-16 modification effort ever undertaken.
Colonel Jansson said the Air
Force has saved $21.5 million by sharing modification development
costs and support plans with our European military partners.
Air Force receives last F-16
Aeronautical Systems Center Public
Affairs by Susan Ferns
WRIGHT-PATTERSON AIR FORCE BASE,
Ohio. (AFPN) -- The general who was the F-16 System Program Office
director here when the contract for the aircraft was awarded
delivered the Air Force's last F-16 Fighting Falcon on March
While the Lockheed Martin Aero
plant in Fort Worth, Texas, will continue to produce F-16s for
international coalition partners, this aircraft is the last of
2,231 F-16s produced for the Air Force, officials said. The first
delivery was in 1978.
Brig. Gen. Jeff Riemer, now the
director of operations at the Air Force Materiel Command headquarters
here, flew the jet from the Lockheed Martin plant in Fort Worth
to Shaw Air Force Base, S.C.
It seemed fitting for General
Riemer to make this historic flight, and we were pleased that
he was able to accept the invitation, said Col. Scott Jansson,
Aeronautical Systems Center Fighter Attack Systems Wings
F-16 Systems Group commander.
For his part, General Riemer
said that having flown the very first F-16B while stationed at
Edwards AFB, Calif., he is delighted to have had the opportunity
to fly the last F-16 produced for the Air Force.
(This F-16) is not your
fathers F-16, said Dan Mahrer, F-16 production program
manager. Originally designed as a lightweight, daytime
interceptor, the F-16 Fighting Falcon has been transformed over
the last 20 years into a multi-role, all weather, air-to-air
and air-to-ground attack weapon system.
Todays F-16 has significant
combat capabilities. This (version of the) jet has a new computer,
multifunctional color displays, an advanced (Identification Friend
or Foe) interrogator, upgraded data link system and a new helmet
with an automatic target-cueing system. It has been upgraded
with the latest software and cutting-edge precision weapons,
Mr. Mahrer said.
Although this is the last
new F-16 expected to be produced for the (Air Force), the F-16
Systems Group continues to technically transform the existing
fleet of more than 1,300 jets, enabling evolutionary weapons
delivery capabilities through 2025 and making possible a smooth
transition to the F-35, the worlds premier multi-role fighter
of the future, Col. Jansson said.
F-16 crashes at Nellis
NELLIS AIR FORCE BASE, Nev.
(AFPN) -- An Air Force F-16 Fighting Falcon crashed short of
the runway here at about 8:30 a.m. on March 18.
The pilot ejected safely and
was taken to the base hospital for evaluation, officials said.
The aircraft was assigned to
the U.S. Air Force Weapons Schools 16th Weapons Squadron.
A board of officers will investigate
the cause of the accident.
Officials release F-16 accident report
LANGLEY AIR FORCE BASE, Va. (AFPN)
-- A left brake anti-skid malfunction during landing and the
pilot's failure to follow an emergency checklist caused an F-16
Fighting Falcon to leave the runway while deployed July 10, according
to an accident investigation board report released Feb. 15.
The aircraft came to rest on
its targeting pod system, ordnance and external fuel tank at
Balad Air Base, Iraq, the report stated.
The aircraft, assigned to Montana
Air National Guards 120th Fighter Wing at Great Falls International
Airport, was deployed with the 332nd Air Expeditionary Wing supporting
Operation Iraqi Freedom.
The aircraft was returning from
a nighttime close-air support mission when on touchdown an electrical
malfunction caused the left anti-skid system to sense a skid
condition in the left wheel, officials said.
During the incident, the pilot
failed to follow the emergency checklist, officials said.
The malfunctioning left brake
caused the aircraft to pull right during the landing rollout
and leave the runway. The aircraft hit an exposed concrete manhole
cover with its nose landing gear and right main landing gear
and came to rest 300 feet off the taxiway.
Two additional factors contributed
to the accident, the board found. The pilot's vision was restricted
by a lack of airfield lighting, and he focused his attention
on the pedal's nonresponsiveness instead of following emergency
Damage to the aircraft is estimated
at $1.2 million. No one was injured during the mishap, and there
was no additional damage to military or civilian property. (Courtesy
of Air Combat Command News Service)
Fighting Falcons tackle 'DEAD' mission
SHAW AIR FORCE BASE, S.C. (AFPN)
-- The CJ model of the F-16 Fighting Falcon offers cutting-edge
war-time fighting capabilities. Three new upgrades have helped
the aircraft here transform from suppressing enemy air defenses
to destroying enemy air defenses.
With the Joint Helmet Mounted
Cueing System, the targeting pod and the Link 16, we can find
something faster, share the information quicker (and) more accurately,
and destroy it more unequivocally, said Lt. Col. John Montgomery,
55th Fighter Squadron commander.
The cueing system upgrade on
a helmet shows heads-up display data on the helmet visor and
allows the pilot to select a target without changing the jets
direction. The system enables the pilot to visually identify,
lock the weapons system on and engage an air or ground target
without looking through the heads-up display on the aircraft
When seconds count in combat
encounters, the system gives the F-16 pilot an exceptional edge,
said Col. Philip Ruhlman, 20th Fighter Wing commander.
The targeting pod is another
upgrade incorporated on the aircraft. It has a forward-looking
infrared sensor which displays an infrared image of the target
for the pilot. The pod helps with precise delivery of laser-guided
munitions by using a laser to determine range to a target and
to the ground, said Maj. Anthony Roberson, 20th Operations Support
Squadron weapons and training flight commander.
In the future, pilots will have
even greater capability with an advanced targeting pod known
as the Sniper XR.
The Sniper will give us
a 5-fold increase over our current targeting capability. Because
of our use of the (current pod) and our focus on training, Shaws
pilots are already prepared for Sniper delivery, Maj. Roberson
The third upgrade for the aircraft
is the Link 16. The Link 16 allows aircraft to share cockpit
data and lets pilots merge into one display what all the airplanes
are seeing. The data link helps pilots quickly gain situational
awareness, and it gives them a combat edge in having complete
knowledge of the battle space around them.
Although each upgrade has helped
in developing the dominance of F-16s, it is the combination of
the three that has given the aircraft tactical superiority.
The technical transformation
of the F-16CJ has enabled evolutionary changes beyond its counter-air
mission, Colonel Ruhlman said. "Current capabilities
now allow for a natural progression to fully incorporate counter-land
roles of close air support and precision interdiction in addition
to a foundation of SEAD (and) DEAD excellence.
"This provides the combatant
commander an exceptional range of capability from which to execute
key roles and missions, all the while force multiplying limited
assets across a wide spectrum of threats and employment challenges,"
kit extends service life of F-16 Fighting Falcon
RICHMOND, Va. (AFPN) -- Defense
Supply Center Richmond officials are working on a billion-dollar,
multiyear project that will extend the service life of the Air
Forces F-16 Fighting Falcons.
The F-16 Structure Augmentation
Roadmap, or "Falcon STAR," program uses parts kits
to strengthen the aircrafts structure, officials said.
The kits contain everything necessary to accomplish a maintenance
Officials said using the kits
reduces maintenance turnaround time, ultimately increasing readiness.
Center officials develop support
strategies and initiate kit contracts.
Without the modification, the
F-16 will not be able to attain its projected 8,000-hour service
life under current operational usage, said Pat Livingston, the
centers F-16 weapon system support manager. Falcon STAR
will allow the aircraft to remain in service through 2025, she
"(The Air Forces)
aircraft structural integrity program continues to identify areas
that will not meet the service life of 8,000 flight hours,"
Ms. Livingston said. "The (goal is) to modify the aircraft
structure before the onset of widespread fatigue damage and aircraft
"This is a tip-to-tail
modification -- 13 structural modifications including replacing
bulkheads and wing-attachment fittings," she said.
Falcon STAR contains the list
of structural parts necessary to address the areas identified
by the aircraft structural integrity program, she said. There
are more than 79,000 parts under 428 national stock numbers,
all of which are managed by Defense Logistics Agency officials.
Parts for each kit are purchased
by officials here and shipped to Defense Distribution Depot Red
River, Texas, for assembly. The assembled kit is then shipped
to Ogden Air Logistics Center at Hill Air Force Base, Utah, where
the aircraft modifications are performed.
The modifications are scheduled
to run through 2014, said Dave Graves, weapons system support
branch chief here.
"Starting in 2006, well
modify F-16s for European countries as well," Mr. Graves
Officials here are working with
the prime contractor on configuration of the kits. The contractor
configured the initial 13 kits, and officials have configured
13 additional kits.
"Weve been working
configuration control issues," Mr. Graves said.
Somewhere between 40 and 100
iterations of the kit are expected, Ms. Livingston said.
The kit configuration is constantly
changing because of the different aircraft configurations, said
Greg Sprouse, chief of the centers kit section.
"So far its going
well," he said. "What were doing is challenging
because of the different configurations. It is a variable kit
-- it changes all the time."
More than 2,000 aircraft will
be modified by 2014, Ms. Livingston said. Participants in the
program include the Air Force and air forces in Belgium, Denmark,
the Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Israel, Greece, Singapore,
Thailand and Bahrain.
On average, it takes 175 days
to modify an aircraft with the Falcon STAR kit, officials said.
The first modification was completed 14 days ahead of schedule,
said Arnie Leighton of the aircraft division at Ogden Air Logistics
Ten F-16s a month are expected
to undergo the modification at Hill in 2005.
Air National Guard F-16 accident
ARLINGTON, VA. (AFPN) -- Pilot
error, a poorly designed pilot-vehicle interface, and the lack
of a published safety procedure were
found as causes for 27 ammunition
rounds being accidentally expended during a training mission
at the Warren Grove Range, N.J., Nov. 3 according to an accident
report released Dec. 17. Some of the rounds struck a Little Egg
Harbor Township, N.J school four miles south of the range. No
one was injured in the incident.
Air National Guard officials
said that as a result, specific changes in range procedures and
aircraft software will be implemented to avoid any further incidents.
Additionally, aircraft at the range will be restricted as to
when they can arm weapons, and flight plans will be altered to
point weapons toward unpopulated areas.
A town hall meeting was held
in Little Egg Harbor Township, N.J. Dec. 17 to discuss the report
with the public.
The F-16 was from the District
of Columbia Air National Guards 113th Wing at Andrews Air
Force Base, Md.
announce F-16 accident investigation findings
RANDOLPH AIR FORCE BASE, Texas
(AFPN) -- Air Force officials announced investigation findings
of a May 19 F-16 Fighting Falcon crash on the Tohono O'odham
Nation in Arizona. The pilot, Singaporean air force 2nd Lt. Kwang
Han Loo, was killed in the crash. He was assigned to the 425th
Fighter Squadron, a foreign military training squadron, at Luke
Air Force Base, Ariz.
The investigation determined
the crash was caused by either a G-induced loss of consciousness,
spatial disorientation or a combination thereof, officials said.
During an intercept portion of
the mission, the pilot began a maneuver from about 14,000 feet
that resulted in the aircraft hitting the ground in a nearly
vertical dive. The pilot did not attempt to eject, and the aircraft
was destroyed. (Courtesy Air Education and Training Command News
test team conducts first guided launch of AIM-9X
by Leigh Anne Bierstine
416th Flight Test Squadron
EDWARDS AIR FORCE BASE, Calif.
(AFPN) -- A test team from the Global Power Fighters Combined
Test Force here moved a step closer to demonstrating the full
combat capability of the newest variant of the AIM-9 Sidewinder
missile on the F-16 Fighting Falcon.
Maj. Bill Peris, a 416th Flight
Test Squadron test pilot, fired the AIM-9X from an F-16 recently,
successfully acquiring and scoring a kill against a Navy subscale
drone. This was the third time the AIM-9X was fired from an F-16,
marking the variant's first guided launch from the aircraft.
During the test mission, Major
Peris was flying at medium altitude in an operationally representative
engagement. A C-130 Hercules crew, taking off from Naval Air
Weapons Station Point Mugu, Calif., released the target drone
over a test range at nearby China Lake Naval Air Weapons Center,
Calif., where the test mission took place.
The AIM-9X Sidewinder is a supersonic,
heat-seeking, air-to-air missile carried by Air Force and Navy
fighter aircraft. It provides increased launch capability using
the Joint Helmet Mounted Cueing System that allows pilots to
acquire and track targets well beyond their line of sight, and
engage targets not possible with previous AIM-9 variants.
Major Peris found the drone and
tracked it using the cueing system, which also is being tested
here to integrate it with the AIM-9X.
The missile performed as anticipated
and proved its combat effectiveness, he said.
"The addition of the AIM-9X
to the F-16 arsenal creates a lethal combination that will make
it more than a match for any adversary," Major Peris said.
"The aircraft has always excelled in the visual arena, and
with this weapon, it will be untouchable."
The third shot is part of a series
of tests designed to clear the AIM-9X for operational use on
the F-16. The AIM-9X missions are part of an F-16 software update
test project to improve avionics system that will be used in
upgrading about 600 F-16 aircraft.
pump in the sky
by Marine Cpl. Thomas A. Sloan
Northern Edge Joint Information Bureau
EIELSON AIR FORCE BASE, Alaska
(AFPN) -- When an F-16 Fighting Falcon pilot runs low on fuel,
he has two choices: Radio in to the closest air base control
tower for landing and refueling permission, or stay airborne
and fill up from a gas station in the sky -- the KC-135 Stratotanker.
You can imagine which gets him back into the fight faster.
More than 40 Airmen and their
Stratotankers from the Air National Guards 108th Air Refueling
Squadron at Scott Air Force Base, Ill., are here supporting Northern
Edge 04, Alaska Commands joint training exercise.
More than 9,000 Airmen, Sailors, Soldiers, Marines and Coast
Guardsmen from active-duty, Reserve and National Guard units
are participating in this years exercise.
The Airmen from the 108th ARS
provide refueling services to the various aircraft flying in
the exercise. During a typical refueling mission, one of the
tankers topped off six F-16 Fighting Falcons.
We (distributed) roughly
72,000 pounds of jet fuel divided up (among) six aircraft,
said Chief Master Sgt. Sam Gerros, in-flight refueling manager
for the 108th ARS. Its our mission to get the fuel
up in the air to the pilots who need it. Doing so will save them
from having to land.
The refueling request came from
an E-3 Sentry Airborne Warning Control System aircraft.
A Stratotanker holds as much
as 185,000 pounds of fuel for refueling missions, Chief Gerros
said. It holds the fuel in its wings, referred to as wet wings,
and underneath its belly.
On this day, a little less than
an hour after the plane took off, it was met by its six thirsty
customers. One by one they took turns slowly lining up with the
Stratotanker, hooking up with the fuel receptacle known as a
boom and filling up.
The boom is deployed from the
rear of the Stratotanker by a boom operator who guides it mechanically
from the rear of the aircraft. While the pilot of the jet taking
on fuel edges in close, the operator keeps the boom steady and
inserts it into an opening located on top of the jet. All this
takes place at the high speeds of flight.
Once the jet is refueled, the
flight departs the area, ready to engage the enemy, and the tanker
awaits the next call for gas.
Edwards test team fires F-16's first AIM-9X
by Leigh Anne Bierstine
416th Flight Test Squadron
EDWARDS AIR FORCE BASE, Calif.
(AFPN) -- A test team from the Global Power Fighters Combined
Test Force fired the newest variant of the AIM-9 Sidewinder,
the X variant, for the first time from an F-16 Fighting Falcon
here April 9.
The Sidewinder is a supersonic,
heat-seeking, air-to-air missile carried by fighter aircraft.
Before this, the AIM-9X had been fired only from F-15 Eagles
and U.S. Navy F-18 Hornets.
The test mission is part of the
F-16 M4-plus test project currently going on here. The project
tests an improved avionics system that will be used to upgrade
about 600 active-duty F-16 aircraft.
This was the first firing in
a series of tests designed to clear the new variant for use on
the F-16, said Capt. Chad Hale, 416th Flight Test Squadron operations
engineer for the project. The initial flights are designed to
validate the effects predicted by its contracted developer.
The team's first two firings
are unguided, and the flight profiles will build up to three
guided firings against subscale drones, Captain Hale said.
In its first test, after clearing
the aircraft, the missile was programmed to perform a high-G
dive into the ground. Maj. Ray Toth, 416th FLTS test pilot, fired
the new Sidewinder.
"The test went as planned,
and there were no surprises," said Major Toth, who fired
the missile over a test range at nearby China Lake Naval Air
The team also evaluated how the
new Sidewinder variant works with the Joint Helmet Mounted Cueing
System. It is compatible with the system, which is designed to
acquire targets easier and decrease aircrew workload.
Results of the tests will have
big payoffs for combat pilots, said Maj. Monte Cannon, a project
pilot and 416th FLTS F-16 chase pilot for the mission.
"The AIM-9X test marks a
tremendous increase in combat capability for the F-16,"
Major Cannon said. "Together, the Joint Helmet Mounted Cueing
System and the missile will provide a lethal combination for
pilots who find themselves in visual engagements."
The latest variant has the same
rocket motor and warhead as the AIM-9M, which is the most current
operational variant of the missile. However, the AIM-9X has major
changes from previous versions including increased flight performance.
The Sidewinder was originally
developed by the Navy for fleet air defense and was later adapted
by the Air Force for use on fighter aircraft. Early versions
of the missile were used in the Vietnam War.
Ogden center delivers first Falcon
HILL AIR FORCE BASE, Utah (AFPN)
-- Maintainers here recently handed off to the Minnesota Air
National Guard's 148th Fighter Wing the first F-16 Fighting Falcon
to undergo a nearly $1 billion upgrade that promises to make
the fleet operational beyond 2020.
The revamped F-16 was part of
the Structural Augmentation Roadmap program, also known as Falcon
STAR. Under the program, maintainers replace or repair known
life-limited structures to avoid the onset of widespread fatigue
damage. This is done to maintain flight safety, enhance aircraft
availability and extend the life of affected components, said
Maj. Mike Williams, Falcon STAR program manager.
Before Falcon STAR, some aircraft
exhibited fatigue damage as early as 3,500 hours, he said. Once
modified, the aircraft will meet its designed service life of
8,000 flight hours.
The major said the entire program
involves modifying 13 different structural components, including
wing fittings, and reworking skin areas. Falcon STAR modifications
are applied to existing aircraft and added to all new F-16's
to compensate for aircraft stress increased usage rates and heavier
gross weights cause.
F-16 system program office experts
at the Ogden Air Logistics Center here manage the Falcon STAR
program. Major Williams said they have worked with Lockheed Martin
to develop the necessary engineering and to procure installation
kits for the first two years of the modification.
An added challenge for the Hill
team was to make modifications that had never been done before,
Major Williams said. The ALC's maintenance directorate completed
the challenge although, in many cases, they had to integrate
untested tools and materials into the repair process.
"Their support has been
critical to the program's success," Major Williams said.
Major Williams said the F-16
hand-off was an important milestone for the entire F-16 community.
"With the modifications
we (are making) under Falcon STAR, the F-16 will continue to
serve a vital role in our nation's defense for many years to
come," he said.
By program's end, more than 1,200
F-16s will have been modified including active-duty, Air National
Guard and Air Force Reserve aircraft.
Falcon STAR is a U.S. Air Force-managed
structural modification program for the F-16 that addresses service-life
deficiencies for the Air Force. The roughly $1 billion program
is the result of more than four years of design and planning
and ensures the F-16's original service life while allowing for
an operational capability beyond the year 2020. (Courtesy of
Air Force Materiel Command News Service)
Targeting pods bolster F-16 training
by Tech. Sgt. Gregory Ripps
149th Fighter Wing Public Affairs
LACKLAND AIR FORCE BASE, Texas
(AFPN) -- The 149th Fighter Wing received something Jan. 14 that
will literally put its current class of F-16 fighter pilots right
on target with their training.
The unit will be the first in
the Air Force to graduate pilots from the F-16 Fighting Falcon
basic course with targeting-pod training.
The enhanced training missions
result from the wing receiving 10 Low-Altitude Navigation and
Targeting Infrared for Night targeting pods. The pods attach
to fighter aircraft and provide an infrared target display for
the pilot to engage.
Besides an infrared sensor, each
pod contains a laser designator-rangefinder for precise delivery
of laser-guided munitions and software for automatic target tracking.
The 149th FW has been training
Air Force pilots since the unit transferred to Air Education
and Training Command in 1999. During their time with the unit,
student pilots learn how to fly and fight with the F-16. Until
now, however, they had to go to Luke Air Force Base, Ariz., for
"When they finish training
with the wing, they'll be ready for almost anything," said
Maj. Greg Whiting, one of the wing's instructor pilots.
The targeting pods are the sensors
that provide air attack footage commonly seen on the news, Major
"The video shows cross hairs
on a target -- bunkers, buildings, etc.," he said. "The
ensuing explosion is the detonation of the munitions that followed
that laser spot onto that target."
The class of nine student pilots
who began training with the wing Aug. 18 is scheduled to begin
training with the targeting pods in February following their
training to drop ordnance the conventional way.
Major Whiting said the Air Force
now regularly deploys with both the targeting pods and night-vision
are the way the Air Force has gone and will continue to fight,"
Major Whiting said.
The wing's quest to provide the
targeting-pod training began about four years ago. The unit borrowed
some targeting pods from Air National Guard units in Albuquerque,
N.M., and Tulsa, Okla.
A handful of 149th FW pilots
already knew how to use the pods from their stints on active
duty. They taught some of the instructor pilots how to use them,
and they, in turn, taught the rest. After the IPs learned how
to teach using the targeting pods, they developed a new syllabus
for the basic course to include the targeting-pod training. The
unit then obtained approval for the revised syllabus from AETC
The wing had prior experience
reworking a syllabus when it introduced night-vision goggle training
into the basic course in 2001.
"NVGs taught us how to use
the syllabus and to work with AETC to change it," said Col.
Joe Lengyel, wing vice commander. "We already had the process
The syllabus change adds only
two days to the training schedule. However, handling the pods
required the unit to obtain certain licenses and permits, and
maintainers had to learn new procedures and undergo special training.
Student pilots said they are
looking forward to the training.
"We all feel lucky to be
here," said 1st Lt. Greg Jenkins, a student pilot from Montana
last assigned to Sheppard AFB, Texas. "The instructor pilots
have a huge amount of experience, the facilities are incredible
and the aircraft is really good."
Nineteen full-time and nine traditional
Guard instructor pilots from the 149th FW teach the basic course
with the help of two instructors attached from 19th Air Force
and six civilian contractors who teach most of the course academics.
(Courtesy of AETC News Service)
awareness causes F-16 crash
by Maj. James Law
Pacific Air Forces Public Affairs
HICKAM AIR FORCE BASE, Hawaii
(AFPN) -- Poor situational awareness was the likely cause of
an F-16 Fighting Falcon crash in South Korea on Sept. 9, a U.S.
Air Force investigation team determined.
Capt. Kevin Dydyk, of the 35th
Fighter Squadron at Kunsan Air Base, South Korea, sustained minor
injuries when the aircraft he was flying crashed into the Yellow
Sea about 56 miles southwest of the base.
Neither Captain Dydyk nor Capt.
Tood Houchins, an instructor pilot flying another F-16, gained
enough situational awareness of a low-altitude condition early
enough to prevent the crash, according to the investigation report.
Captain Dydyk was flying lead
in a two-ship training formation over the Yellow Sea when the
mishap occurred. On the final mission of the day he unknowingly
set-up and began the engagement 800 feet above the briefed "floor"
altitude limit of 5,000 feet
Immediately after Captain Houchins
made the "fight's on" call, Captain Dydyk began a series
of maneuvers resulting in the aircraft descending below the altitude
limit. When he realized his altitude he immediately called "terminate"
and began recovering. Three seconds later he ejected and the
aircraft hit the water one second later.
Search-and-rescue personnel rescued
Captain Dydyk after about 90 minutes.
Investigators determined Captain
Dydyk failed to crosscheck his aircraft's altitude during the
mission engagement and did not know his altitude or proximity
to the water until he reached about 1,500 feet above the sea.
Investigators also determined
Captain Houchins failed to recognize the non-standard set-up
before the start of the mission. Captain Houchins was not aware
of either aircraft's proximity to the floor or the water until
the mishap aircraft hit the water, at which time he recovered
his own F-16 aircraft 450 feet above the water. (Courtesy of
Pacific Air Forces News Service)
Turbine blade causes F-16 crash
LANGLEY AIR FORCE BASE, Va. (AFPN)
-- Failure of a turbine blade caused an F-16C Fighting Falcon
to crash in an unpopulated area near Rosepine, La., on Sept.
22, according to a report Air Force officials released Jan. 6.
The pilot ejected in a sparsely
wooded area about 12 nautical miles southwest of Fort Polk Army
The aircraft was part of a six-ship,
unopposed surface-attack training mission, and was assigned to
the 147th Fighter Wing at Ellington Field in Houston.
The engine turbine blade failed
because of fatigue, although there were no external signs of
excess fatigue during routine inspections, according to the Aircraft
Investigation Board report.
The pilot received minor abrasions
from his parachute harness during the ejection. An Army helicopter
took the pilot to a medical facility where he was treated and
released. There was no damage to property or injuries to people
on the ground.
The value of aircraft and equipment
lost totaled about $23.3 million. (Courtesy of Air Combat Command