November 4, 2004 (by Lieven Dewitte) - A Dutch F-16 (J-637) damaged part of its undercarriage when it landed in Kyrgyzstan today, forcing the authorities to close its main civilian airport. The accident happened in the afternoon when the jet's nose wheel suddenly collapsed seconds after it landed at Manas civilian airport.
RNLAF F-16AM #J-637 on a training mission with a dummy sidewinder on the rail [Photo by Ron van Dijk]
The jet went of the runway because one of his brakes was broken and all the hydraulic fluid was lost.
The Dutch pilot is doing well, but the runway was damaged in the rough landing, and airport officials decided to close Manas until 20.00h (15.00 GMT).
The jet has minium damage and is repairable.
Dutch troops are on an eight-week mission in Afghanistan as part of an expanded NATO
presence around the elections, and to support the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF
). ) They operate from a US base in nearby Kyrgyzstan.