November 18, 2010 (by Asif Shamim) - An F-16 based at Aviano dropped two external fuel tanks and an inert missile on an empty field Tuesday night after the pilot declared an in-flight emergency shortly after take-off, according to a 31st Fighter Wing press release.
USAF F-16C block 40 #90-0709 from the 510th FS departs on a sortie mission during a surge on December 16th, 2009 at Aviano AB. [USAF photo by SrA. Nadine Y. Barclay]
The jet returned safely to base. The debris fell on fields near Dandolo about six miles east of the base. No one was hurt and property was not damaged, according to the release. Wing officials did not release information on the nature of the in-flight emergency.
Italian news agency Adnkronos reported that Italian police and fire-fighters and U.S. military personnel went to the scene Wednesday morning and recovered the fuel tank and missile debris. Officials were inspecting the site for possible contamination, according to the report, but initial indications were that rain and impact had diluted most of the spilled fuel.