May 3, 2001 (by Lieven Dewitte) - Investigators have determined engine failure led to an F-16 crash over the Gulf of Mexico Dec. 13. The aircraft, assigned to the 27th Fighter Wing at Cannon Air Force Base, N.M., was on temporary duty at Tyndall Air Force Base, Fla., at the time of the accident. The pilot experienced minor injuries after ejecting from the aircraft.
According to Air Combat Command?s Accident Investigation Report released today, there was insufficient evidence to determine the exact cause of the accident. Testimony from the pilot and his wingman clearly supported that the aircraft experienced engine failure and fire. However, investigators were unable to locate and salvage the wreckage in order to determine an exact cause of the engine failure.
The accident occurred during a dissimilar air combat training sortie involving F-16 and F-15 aircraft.