March 20, 2001 (by Lieven Dewitte) - Engine failure caused an Oklahoma Air National Guard F-16 to crash Oct. 12 near Atlanta, Kan. The aircraft was assigned to the 138th Fighter Wing at Tulsa International Airport. The pilot experienced only minor injuries after ejecting from the aircraft.
Air Force accident investigation officials found evidence the engine failure resulted from a complete breakdown of the No. 3 bearing assembly, causing the engine to seize.
The accident occurred during an air-to-air training mission. The pilot heard a ratcheting sound from the engine and felt a violent vibration of the airframe. This was followed by a bang, rapid engine deceleration and subsequent engine shut down. The pilot tried twice to restart the engine but was unsuccessful. After his wingman informed him that his aircraft was on fire, the pilot ejected from the aircraft. The F-16 crashed into grazing land, causing minor property damage.
For more information, contact the Air Combat Command Public Affairs office at (757) 764-5994 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.