F-16 Fighting Falcon News

nert bomb falls from F-16 on apartments

March 15, 2008 (by Asif Shamim) - A dummy bomb fell off an F-16 belonging to the Oklahoma ANG as it departed from Tulsa IAP on a training mission, falling onto an apartment complex, officials said.

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Tulsa Air Guard F-16C block 42 #90-0738 departs on full afterburner

Maj. Gen. Harry M. "Bud" Wyatt III, the state's adjutant general, said he wasn't sure what caused the 22-pound BDU-33 bomb to be released from the F-16 as it flew over Tulsa, apparently it was inadvertently released shortly after the plane took off at 14.57h local time from the Tulsa Air Guard base.

Base personnel would still be searching for the device if it weren't for Jeremy Isbell who found the bomb has gone through his bathroom wall after arriving home on Thursday. Isbell said the electricity was off at the Canyon Creek Apartments when he arrived home with his wife.

He reported the problem to power company employees who were outside trying to find the cause of the outage. They discovered the bomb buried in a concrete slab.

Preston Kissman, vice-president of distribution for American Electric Power-Public Service Company of Oklahoma, said the bomb hit a bank of electric meters, leaving 16 apartments without power.

Agents from the FBI and ATF were called to investigate until it was determined the device was military ordnance said Maj. Robin M. Cavanaugh, an Oklahoma Air National Guard spokeswoman.

The F-16 that was carrying the bombs was heading to the Smokey Hill Gunnery Range near Salina, for a routine weapons drill, Wyatt said during a press conference at the Tulsa Air National Guard base Friday afternoon.

Once the pilot arrived at the range, the plane's computer showed that all six of its bombs were on board, and the pilot released them as part of the exercise. However, range officers reported that they never saw a sixth bomb hit the ground, Wyatt said.

Upon routine post-flight inspection, it was determined that one of the bomb stations on the aircraft had not fired, he said.

Tulsa Air National Guard has cancelled all practice flights involving the non explosive training bombs while the matter is investigated. The F-16 in question has been impounded while the investigation is in progress.

Wyatt said the pilot in Thursday's incident is an experienced and fully qualified combat pilot, but he declined to release the pilot's name.