Actual data on loss rate

Feel free to discuss anything here - as long as it is F-16 related.
  • Author
  • Message
Offline

Ship741

Newbie

Newbie

  • Posts: 2
  • Joined: 29 Oct 2007, 15:19

Unread post29 Oct 2007, 15:31

Hello, I'm a newbie on this website and am amazed at the wealth of information here.

I was actually directed here after a google search on f-16 accident statistics. I used the search function and found some of what I am looking for but the one thread (F-16 vs F-18) that touched upon the what I am seeking got sidetracked.

I'm wondering if anyone has any actual data on the much debated (over the years) loss rate due to engine failure?

It would be very interesting to quantify how many lives would have been saved and how many airplanes would have been recovered with the second engine. One article that was linked the other thread said that only 25% of the total accidents were engine related. Another website said USAF alone had lost 307 airplanes. 25% is about 77 airplanes....of course it is possible not all could have been saved, and probably the majority of the pilots ejected safely. Still, I would think that the savings would have been in the hundreds of millions, perhaps the low billions, with a second engine, and of course the lives are precious beyond calculation, but recovering a trained pilot also has a huge cost benefit. And of course, this is only USAF date (the 307 number), counting all the Vipers around the world, well the cost of the crashes must be enormous.

Am also interested in F-18 data for comparison's sake.

Once again, not looking to start a flame war at all, looking for real data.
Offline

ACMIguy

Forum Veteran

Forum Veteran

  • Posts: 667
  • Joined: 11 Jul 2007, 17:13

Unread post29 Oct 2007, 15:49

Serial Number Listings by Fiscal Year: 1922-present http://home.att.net/~jbaugher/usafserials.html

US Navy and US Marine Corps Aircraft Serial Numbers and Bureau Numbers--1911 to Present
http://home.att.net/~jbaugher/navyserials.html

This is raw data, so you will need to page through the years and narratives to single out what you want.

By the way you will need to page down to the lower part of these sites to see the data your looking for.
Offline
User avatar

Bjorn

F-16.net Editor

F-16.net Editor

  • Posts: 1810
  • Joined: 27 May 2003, 18:56

Unread post29 Oct 2007, 17:12

Euhm, no offence, but ACMIguy, ever heard of the F-16.net serials database?

No, you should. It's THE F-16 serials database on the net. The listings of Joe Baugher are way near complete. Certainly concerning accident data they only contain about 20% of them.

Just the general stats here about the question. Yes, losing an F-16 (or a human live for that reason) costs a lot of money. But have you ever considered the cost of equiping that airframe with a second engine? Since the accident rates of F-16s are quite low (compared to other fighters of the same era that is) and certainly the accident rates concerning engine trouble, we can truely state that (not exactly knowing the figures concerning engine trouble induced accidents) equiping the airframe with a second engine would have cost us a multitude on purchase costs then it costs us now losing an airframe.

Greets,
Bjorn Claes
F-16.net Editor
Photo Library Admin
Aircraft Database Admin
Offline

ACMIguy

Forum Veteran

Forum Veteran

  • Posts: 667
  • Joined: 11 Jul 2007, 17:13

Unread post29 Oct 2007, 17:43

Bjorn wrote:the accident rates of F-16s are quite low (compared to other fighters of the same era that is)
Greets,


That's what great about this site you have the F-16 data, but compared to what?
It doesn't hurt to have more than one source so you can compare right?

Do you know of any other F-18 sites with stats?

cheers :cheers:
Offline
User avatar

Gums

Elite 2K

Elite 2K

  • Posts: 2279
  • Joined: 16 Dec 2003, 17:26

Unread post29 Oct 2007, 20:31

Salute!

I am compelled to weigh in here.

Much of my data are from personal experience.

When I got to the Viper, I found that our motors were NOT the exact replica of the Eagle motors. We had BUC and our components were tested to a higher standard than for jets with two motors. Hmmmmm.

Turns out that fatalities are not related to single-engine versus multi-engine as much as they are related to human screw-ups.

I went thru two periods where my jets were grounded and we did taxi drills to keep all the hydraulic seals supple, etc.(A-7D and F-16A). Both were related to motor problems that we eventually fixed. Both involved a high rate of jet losses, but no pilot losses. I don't recall any pilot dead due to an engine failure in any jet I ever flew.

The F-106 was a single-seat, single-engine jet that had about the lowest loss rate of any plane ever built. The Thud also had a very low loss rate except for their decimation over North Vietnam.

The single-engine jets are lots cheaper and go further for a pound of JP-4 than any twin-engine fighter ever built. I have flown both types and will swear to it.

Some folks want the "security" that the extra motor seems to offer. True, if you want to bail out 100 miles from the carrier or over enemy territory, seems to make sense. But I'll tell ya. The Thuds were not eliminated because their motors failed - THEY WERE SHOT DOWN!!!

If you get a Alkali or Alamo or Aphid or Guideline or Strella or .... up your butt, won't make no difference if you have one motor, or two, or four.


The F-18, as with the Viper, has had more fatalities due to pilot error than having to do with the motors. The Blue Angel prang this year will likely be due to gee-loc. Nothing to do with motors. Same for most of the Viper accidents I saw firsthand at Hill between 1979 and 1984. Last five were 100% pilot error - all fatalities, and it was a sad last 18 months of my career.

Guess we can find a website someplace with all the stats and comparisons. But for now, I'll go with the single-seat, single-engine jets unless the mission requires two or more folks.

Gums sends....
Gums
Viper pilot '79
"God in your guts, good men at your back, wings that stay on - and Tally Ho!"
Offline
User avatar

That_Engine_Guy

Elite 2K

Elite 2K

  • Posts: 2312
  • Joined: 14 Dec 2005, 05:03
  • Location: Under an engine somewhere.

Unread post29 Oct 2007, 23:53

Ah, the dual versus single engine debate.... Let me stir the pot a little... :twisted:

Nieuport - 1 engine
Spad - 1 engine
Mustang - 1 engine
Jug - 1 engine
Saber - 1 engine
Crusader -1 engine
Super Saber - 1 engine
MiG-21 - 1 engine
Starfighter - 1 engine
Thud - 1 engine
Dart - 1 engine
Viper -1 engine (but two OEMs?)
Mirage - 1 engine
Gripen - 1 engine
Jianji-10 - 1 engine

One Congressional Report says...
A number of observations can be made regarding these arguments. First, the comparison between the F-22 and the F/A-18E/F and the F-35 may not be apt. Both the Raptor and the Super Hornet are equipped with two engines. The F-35 will have one engine. A single engine aircraft is inherently subject to higher risk than a two engine aircraft, as the consequences of engine problems in the F-35 will be worse than for the F-22 or F/A-18E/F. As one simple datum to consider, between FY1990 and FY2004, the single-engine F-16 suffered 80 Class A engine-related mishaps for a rate of 1.31 per 100,000 flight hours. The twin-engine F-15 suffered 21 engine related Class A engine-related mishaps for a rate of .64 per 100,000 flight hours. Further, unlike the Raptor and Super Hornet, one of the F-35 variants will bepowered by an engine capable of vertical and/or short takeoff and landings (VSTOL). The VSTOL engine will be more complex than the conventional engines and will be subject to different operational stresses and conditions. The AV-8B Harrier, the Marine Corps short take off and vertical landing (STOVL) fighter aircraft has one of the highest mishap rates of all military aircraft. Importantly, unlike most aircraft types that are subject to mishaps most frequently through human error, two-thirds of AV-8B’s mishaps are related to the aircraft failures. Further, the four primary material problems related to AV-8B mishaps reportedly are Engine, Flaps Controller, Nose Wheel Steering, and Ejection System.19 It is to be hoped that the VSTOL JSF will improve upon the AV-8B’s safety record and engine problems. However, it appears optimistic to contend that engines generally, and VSTOL engine in particular, do not contribute to safety concerns.


April 13, 2006
Christopher Bolkcom
Specialist in National Defense
Foreign Affairs, Defense, and Trade
http://www.fas.org/sgp/crs/weapons/RL33390.pdf

Now I'm not sure where I can find older Class-A Engine Related Mishap rates for previous generations of USAF fighters, but I would guess they are much higher.

If others would like to "Google" you're looking for "Engine Related Class A Mishap Rate Summery" They are typically published yearly or whenever a major report is produced.

More to come later, dinner is ready :)

Keep 'em flyin' :thumb:
Offline
User avatar

That_Engine_Guy

Elite 2K

Elite 2K

  • Posts: 2312
  • Joined: 14 Dec 2005, 05:03
  • Location: Under an engine somewhere.

Unread post30 Oct 2007, 01:44

In 2004, for example, the USAF had only two aircraft losses traced back to an engine issue. (MH-53M and an A-10). Both were actually compressor-stalls that led to the aircraft being lost. :cry:

Also of note in 2004 was the fact NO F-16s were lost to engine related mishaps! :D Only 1 F-15 had a "Class A" but the aircraft was not lost; FOD to the engine caused enough damage to push the incident's dollar value over the "Class B" limit. :roll:

Another Congressional study by Mr. CHRISTOPHER BOLKCOM says
DoD and industry witnesses before the full Committee have noted that aircraft engines are more reliable today than there were in the past. (Some may argue that today’s engines are more reliable than in the past due to the competitive pressures experienced by engine manufacturers in the 1984-1995 time frame.) As one yardstick, witnesses have noted that the Class A mishap rates for the single-engine F-16 as one example, have dropped from 10 per 100,000 hours to one per 100,000 hours.


The report further states...
Mishap statistics must be used cautiously, however, when trying to support arguments about aircraft engine reliability. Many different factors contribute to military aviation safety and the improvements described in previous testimony. Because mishap rates have improved does not necessarily mean that improved engine reliability was the cause. Most safety experts attribute improvements in mishap rates over the past 30 years to the implementation of improved safety awareness techniques such as Operational Risk Management (ORM). Similarly, it is not clear that the F-15’s two engines are the primary reason this aircraft has a mishap rate one-half that of the F-16. Interviews with safety professionals and military pilots, however, indicate a large majority believes two engines to be safer than one engine.


When you see engine related loss data it will often be shown like the one below.

Other charts like these are in the USAF Magazine "Flying Safety" and those who have access to it they will see a annual engine summary. I found this chart on the internet, and I'm certain the numbers aren't sensitive anymore. :wink:

Investigations break down every loss by aircraft / engine / system / cause / reason / circumstance / etc so that information can be used to make the engines even more reliable in the future.

USAF Destroyed Aircraft
% Engine-Related (FY98-FY03)

Fiscal Year....% Engine-Related

FY98................20.0%
FY99................34.6%
FY00................17.6%
FY01................38.1%
FY02................12.0%
FY03................13.6%

FY03 Destroyed Aircraft-All

Maintenance........5%
Bird Strike...........9%
Engine................14%
Operations..........72%

FY03 Engine-Related Class A Mishaps By Engine Section

Compressor....17%
Fan................17%
Bearings.........17%
Oil System......17%
Turbine..........32%

As one can tell, a huge investment of time and money is put into these investigations so that everyone is better off in the long run...

I know ;I've been on a Mishap Investigation as a "Subject Matter Expert" (SME) as the report put it. Luckily that particular engine related mishap only resulted in the Viper/Motor being lost and not the pilot. He was flying again soon...

Keep 'em flyin' :thumb:
TEG
Attachments
Engine_Mishap_Example.JPG
USAF Data
Offline

Guysmiley

Elite 1K

Elite 1K

  • Posts: 1496
  • Joined: 26 May 2005, 19:39

Unread post30 Oct 2007, 02:17

How the heck does an MH-53 manage a compressor stall? Part failure or sand ingestion or what? I can't imagine it would be due to excessive AoA in a flying house like the -53?
Offline
User avatar

That_Engine_Guy

Elite 2K

Elite 2K

  • Posts: 2312
  • Joined: 14 Dec 2005, 05:03
  • Location: Under an engine somewhere.

Unread post30 Oct 2007, 02:39

Not exactly sure what caused the compressor stall, but this is what the report says...

Approximately five minutes after takeoff from Bagram, Beatle 12 experienced a compressor stall in the number 2 engine causing engine failure. Reversing course, the mishap aircrew (MC) Attempted to jettison the auxiliary fuel tanks without success. Dumping fuel to reduce weight and unable to maintain single engine flight, the MC set up for a precautionary landing. During the landing phase at 150-200 feet AGL, the remaining engine lost power and the helicopter landed fast on a level, rocky river bank, subsequently ran into a 3-foot-high embankment that severed the tail boom, rolled left and came to rest inverted. A post-crash fire rapidly consumed the aircraft.


The report also said the aircraft was "climbing to clear mountainous terrain, when the mishap sequence occurred" Maybe it was too hot and too high for the load? Shame it hit that embankment, may have come out a little better in the end. :cry:

http://usaf.aib.law.af.mil/MH-53M_Afgha ... 3Nov03.pdf

I try to pay attention to any/all mishap reports citing maintenance or engine as the primary factor. For the obvious reasons. :shock:
Offline

Roscoe

Elite 1K

Elite 1K

  • Posts: 1320
  • Joined: 29 Jun 2004, 20:14
  • Location: Las Vegas

Unread post30 Oct 2007, 03:01

The pessimist would say that having two engines doubles the chance that something will go wrong with one...
Roscoe

"It's time to get medieval, I'm goin' in for guns" - Dos Gringos
Offline
User avatar

Gums

Elite 2K

Elite 2K

  • Posts: 2279
  • Joined: 16 Dec 2003, 17:26

Unread post30 Oct 2007, 04:19

Salute!

Roscoe is on to something.

TEG has the stats, and I trust him, being an engine dude and all that. I also trust my own experience.

Engine failure does not usually cause fatalities. People do.

Two-seat fighters take away extra gas and such.

Two-engine fighters burn more gas and really don't help you much in actual combat.

I only landed a VooDoo on one engine one time, and it wasn't a big deal ( think I lost oil pressure or something and shut the sucker down). OTOH, I dead-sticked an A-37 one day but not due to motor failure (one was hit and on fire, but I shut it down real quick). Seems I flat-ass ran outta gas due to numerous holes in the fuel system, heh heh. BFD.

I shall go with the "fighter mafia" as with Riccione, Boyd, Suter, et al.

The loss rate for the Harrier is not so much due to one engine as it is to human factors and the mission. Same for the Viper.

I predict the F-35 will have about the same loss rate as the AV-8, maybe a bit less.

I also like TEG's quotes by "experts" from think tanks that never flew a jet.

Reminds me of that famous question by a senator for McNamara when he was pushing for the TFX ( now known as the 'vaark). "Just what, if anything, does the Secretary substitute for experience in these matters?"

The defense rests.

Gums sends ....
Gums
Viper pilot '79
"God in your guts, good men at your back, wings that stay on - and Tally Ho!"
Offline

ford2go

Enthusiast

Enthusiast

  • Posts: 93
  • Joined: 10 Jul 2007, 18:13

Unread post30 Oct 2007, 07:53

I'm no aircraft expert, but I'd like to add a few thoughts.

1. 2 engines do not double the engine failure reliability
-- the extra part increase the falure rate. If you had a 100 appliances in your house that failed once/100 hours, you'd have an average failure of 1/hr

2. Two engine aircraft are necessarily heavier and require other design changes. This may further offset any gains in engine reliability

3. In actual combat, or even rough conditions, one engine failure might be enough to take you down.

3. Many others presented the data on actual engine failures. Actual improvement in failure would be limited to the percentage caused by engine failure.

I'm not a designer, but I know from industry experience that good design is always a balance. Somebody has a problem --e.g. fighter air superiority. There are many approaches to a solution, each with its pluses and minuses. A 2 engine F-16 would not be an F-16. I know little or nothing about F-16s, but I'm sure that the designers traded 2 engines for other benefits. A 2 engine plane would need to be compare via the same 'fly off ' process that's used to select new aircraft. Just adding in engine data is not enough.

Not trying to preach, these are just my opinions -- worth exactly what you're paying for them.

ford2go
Offline

Ship741

Newbie

Newbie

  • Posts: 2
  • Joined: 29 Oct 2007, 15:19

Unread post30 Oct 2007, 10:48

Thanks for the responses, especially the data from TEG. That is some of what I was looking for.

Thanks for all the general statements, but I'm really not looking to argue the issue, just want to see what 30 odd years of actual in-service statistics say. I, too, would love to see similar F-18 data. I actually am surprised that such a document comparing actual F-16 versus F-18 engine/safety does not exist, given the huge amount of paper churned by the Defense establishment. I was hoping someone might have a link to such a document.

From the one chart that TEG provided, there were 50 Class A f-16 incidents over a 5 year period, and 19 were engine related, that looks to me like about 38%. Granted, you would have to look into each and every one of them to ascertain whether or not a second engine might have helped. For instance, an uncontained failure might take out the other engine in a two enginedd plane, whereas a simple oil leak might cause the jet to be lost in a single engine jet (but there I go arguing "this issue" again, it is hard not to if you love airplanes!!).

Going back to the 307/77 numbers, if the majority of those 77 airplanes could have been saved, well, gee, thats several SQUADRONS. A significant savings.
Offline

vinnie

Senior member

Senior member

  • Posts: 437
  • Joined: 06 Feb 2004, 03:37

Unread post30 Oct 2007, 13:10

Most , not all but most, of the engine failures I know of resulted in fires which would have taken out even a 2 engined jet.

Return to General F-16 forum

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 13 guests