January 5, 2014 (by Lieven Dewitte) - On Thursday an Norwegian F-16A block 20 MLU (285) was badly damaged when its nose wheel broke during touch and go exercises at Bodø Airport. The RNoAF pilot was not hurt but the aircraft did sustain some considerable damage.
RNoAF F-16AM #285 arriving at Fairford (RIAT 2003) after a flight from Orlandet MAS. [Photo by Kjell Arild Bersaas]
It seems that a wire caused the breakage although it is too early to state.
This is a wire lying on the runway as a safety if a fighter is unable to stop the machine. The wire is there permanently, but had basically nothing to do with this landing to do. The plane would only land and take off, but it seems that the plane has hit a wire on one way or another, said press officer Ivar Moen.
The F-16 only uses the arresting gear system for landing on short or temporary runways, or as a last resort for emergencies involving brake failure, steering problems or other situations in which using the full length of the runway is not possible or safe.
F-16s have not been involved in any serious accidents over the last ten years
. In 2001 the now 44 years old fighter pilot Vegard Bøthun executed a controlled ejection from an F-16B just outside Bodø after a bird strike took out the engine
. Both crew ejected safely and the wreckage came down just off the southern tip of Landegode island. Backseater was a female administration officer on an incentive flight.
During exercise Cold Response in 2012 two F-16s from Bodø and Ørland were only 300 meters away from colliding. One F-16 entered the other's air corridor and the jets passed each other with a margin of only a few seconds.
The F-16 jet fighters have served as the workhorse of the Norwegian Armed Forces for over 30 years. The aircraft was purchased in the middle of the Cold War.
As of 2018 the F-16 will be phased out in Norway
and replaced by the F-35 Lightning II