Landed with failed leading edge flap
In Lt. Col. Pat "Gums" McAdoo's words:
"I was the first Viper pilot to successfully land the thing with a failed leading edge flap. Was early spring/late winter 1982. Maybe 20 March, tail number 044, as that log entry shows 0.3 hours and a precision approach. Weather was not ll that keen. Have the HUD video in VHS format."
"Maintenance troops had failed to insert a 'keeper' bolt that is supposed to keep the flap drive tubes from slipping apart. It's like a cotter key on a bolt. The flap drive motor has a spline gear on it and the drive tube has gear teeth that match up. So the drive tube gradually slipped out from the motor spline gear. When I rotated, the drive tube slid all the way out and the leading edge flap went up until the wing upper surface stopped it. Maybe 50-60 degrees. Another troop had his fail a few months later and the flap went to 90 degrees because he was going a lot faster when the drive tube failed. So I was at 160 knots and holding full left stick. Post-flight data revealed that I had about one pound of control authority for banking left. So I was holding 15-16 pounds of left stick the whole time. "
"I stayed at 170-180 knots, as I could still maintain control and wasn't gonna play Chuck Yeager more than I had to. Nevertheless, I was the first troop to fly the thing in that configuration, so everything was new territory. Bunted over to get opposite flap 2 degrees up and locked the flaps( LEF's go up when bunting over, or when weight is on wheels). I now had both LEF's up, and it seemed to help with the roll authority. Additionally, that other flap wasn't gonna be moving all over the place, and this kept things a little more predictable. "
"Came around on the ILS and landed in one helluva crab. The drag was so great that I almost landed short when I pulled off the power. As I was coming in a lot hotter than normal, I thought I would land long. heh heh, sucker dropped like a rock and I was able to make a mid-field turn off."
Exact date of this mishap is not known, but did happen in 1982.