F-16 Fighting Falcon News

F-16 drops fuel tanks into the Great Salt Lake

December 12, 2008 (by Asif Shamim) - An F-16 from the 388th FW jettisoned its two external fuel tanks into the Great Salt Lake during a training exercise. Base personnel and park employees are assisting in the recovery clean up.

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The incident occurred at 10.15h local time when the pilot noticed a fire sensor warning triggered in the jet. Following emergency procedures to lighten the jet the pilot ejected the tanks which came down three miles North of Antelope Island on Friday morning.

The pilot was able to land the F-16 safely around 10.20h and no injuries were reported.

Each tank is 18 foot long and can carry 370 gallons of fuel. Empty weight is 443 pounds. According to info to a press release the tanks were two thirds full at the time of the incident. Both were destroyed on impact.

"We are currently working with Davis County officials to determine the extent of any fuel that might be remaining at the location, whether any hazards exist, and the appropriate cleanup efforts," Col. Linda Medler, 75th Air Base Wing commander, said in a news release Friday.

"We plan to have the site cleaned up in the next day or two."

The 388th Fighter Wing personnel will conduct a safety investigation to determine the cause of the incident and will put together a plan to clean up the impact site. There were some concerns about the impact area and surrounding area, but based on information from officials there is no cause for concern.

Ron Taylor, Antelope Island State Park Manager was quoted to have said the tanks fell a few hundred yards North of Antelope Island Causeway.

Wing personnel from the 388th will conduct a safety investigation to determine the cause and will put a plan together to clean up the impact site.