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31 Aug 1981
USAF 63 TFTS
11 Jul 1983
USAF 63 TFTS
After an engine change, the reworked engine was ground tested. The aircraft jumped the chocks while in segment 2 afterburner. Maintainers failed to hook up the throtle linkage to the fuel control. Aircraft traveled across the ramp and onto soft ground where the gear was ripped off. The F-16's belly cut a 25 yard hole in the ground before coming to rest in a ditch. No injuries in this mishap.
It was never determined exactly what stage the engine fuel control was in, Maintenance personnel routinely advanced the engine fuel control to approximately the military power setting when connecting the linkage, which was in violation of standard procedures for engine installation. Only the nose landing gear collapsed when the aircraft left the paved apron and impacted the ditch immediately adjacent to the apron. There was no 25 yard hole in the ground. When the nose gear failed the aircraft struck the ground, causing the engine to break in half at the fan/compressor sections. Blades from the engine penetrated the fuel cell above the engine causing leaks and a fire. The fire plume came from the engine intake and impinged the cockpit and canopy. The person in the aircraft performing the engine run successfully raised the canopy and jumped over the side of the aircraft without injury. As was standard procedures for ground engine runs a fire suppression vehicle was present and immediately doused the fire.
The aircraft was subsequently sent to Hill AFB Air Logistics Center for repair. A complete nose section was re-purchased from the Israeli Air Force and installed on the aircraft.
Jun 25, 2013 - 10:36 PM
Both personnel who performed the final steps of the engine installation were later convicted of falsifying military records for their documentation on the aircraft. The seven-level technician cleared all the Red X AFTO Form 781 entries in the "inspected by" block when he had no done so, the five-level technician signed all the "corrected by" blocks in the 781s. What really occurred was the five-level went down the right side of the engine (which included the throttle linkage) and the seven-level went down the left side of the engine and made all the necessary connections after the engine had been "five-pointed" the previous evening. They got together and signed off (incorrectly) all of the engine installation entries in the AFTO 781s.
Oct 22, 2016 - 11:58 PM
This aircraft image and tail number is incorrect. The aircraft in this incident was an A model, single seat. I have not yet been able to confirm the tail number. I have a picture of the crashed aircraft where it landed in the grass. I was an instructor at MacDill when the described accident happened. I also have not been able to to confirm the date. On the date stated here, A B model F-16, 80-627 crashed in the gulf of Mexico, it was a B model aircraft. I have the image and description from the Tampa Tribune.
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