Downed RJAF F-16 - Intact Canopy

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

triplea

Newbie

Newbie

  • Posts: 6
  • Joined: 25 Dec 2014, 09:36

Unread post25 Dec 2014, 09:47

Hello. I'm new here, so sorry if I inadvertently breach any etiquette or board rule.

I have a question regarding the RJAF F-16 that went down over Syria recently. Images supposedly released by ISIS show the pilot in relatively good health, so it's reasonable to assume he ejected -- which's also congruent with official reports at this time. But those images also show an intact canopy as part of the wreckage of the plane.

So my question is: would it be typical for the canopy to survive an ejection in such a state? Or can some conclusions be drawn from the fact of the canopy's survival? I tried to look up the canopy's terminal velocity without much success.

I would greatly appreciate any answers.
Offline

Boman

Elite 1K

Elite 1K

  • Posts: 1440
  • Joined: 08 Jul 2004, 19:22
  • Location: Norway

Unread post25 Dec 2014, 11:23

Canopies can remain perfectly intact following an ejection. This can be seen from the canopy of one of the 614TFS Vipers brought Down during DS1, and similarly the canopy of 89-2032 that is in the Belgrade museum.

So no, you cannot draw any conclusion from the state of the canopy alone.
Offline
User avatar

triplea

Newbie

Newbie

  • Posts: 6
  • Joined: 25 Dec 2014, 09:36

Unread post25 Dec 2014, 13:27

Thank you very much for quick and clear response. Appreciated.

Any comments/observations regarding the incident in general?
Offline
User avatar

FlightDreamz

Forum Veteran

Forum Veteran

  • Posts: 790
  • Joined: 18 Aug 2007, 17:18
  • Location: Long Island, New York

Unread post25 Dec 2014, 15:38

As always my thoughts and prayers are with the downed pilot and his family (seems especially tough during the holidays) :(

According to CNN
Although ISIS claimed it had downed the aircraft, the U.S. military rejected the claim.
"Evidence clearly indicates" that the terrorist group "did not down the aircraft," U.S. Central Command said in a statement.

The story doesn't seem to elaborate on how/why that conclusion was drawn however.
A fighter without a gun . . . is like an airplane without a wing.— Brigadier General Robin Olds, USAF.
Offline
User avatar

Lieven

F-16.net Webmaster

F-16.net Webmaster

  • Posts: 3652
  • Joined: 23 May 2003, 15:44

Unread post25 Dec 2014, 18:49

Here's an image of the canopy that circulates on the web.

F-16-downed-in-Syria-706x399.png
Offline
User avatar

triplea

Newbie

Newbie

  • Posts: 6
  • Joined: 25 Dec 2014, 09:36

Unread post25 Dec 2014, 19:28

The Jordanian army has just confirmed that the aircraft was not downed by enemy action. They also did not elaborate on why they reached this conclusion, nor what they believe the cause of the crash was.

But I guess ruling out enemy action only leaves mechanical malfunction, really. Unless they have reason to believe it was pilot error, but I doubt they'd be able to draw such a conclusion without access to at least the wreckage or the pilot, preferably both.
Offline
User avatar

Lieven

F-16.net Webmaster

F-16.net Webmaster

  • Posts: 3652
  • Joined: 23 May 2003, 15:44

Unread post25 Dec 2014, 20:31

Can anyone confirm it was ex-Belgian Air Force jet #80-3569 (149/FA-78)?


RJAF F-16AM #149 seen landing at Aviano AB on March 19th, 2009, during a stopover before continuing onto Jordan. This aircraft is ex-BAF #FA-78. [Photo by Marco Sommacal]
Offline
User avatar

lamoey

Elite 1K

Elite 1K

  • Posts: 1065
  • Joined: 25 Apr 2004, 17:44
  • Location: 77550

Unread post25 Dec 2014, 21:14

If he flew high enough then any hand held missile or cannon would not reach him, so that excludes ground threats. One other option is accidentally (or not) downed by US or allied forces. In both cases they would know, but if the latter then they would choose not to elaborate.
Former Flight Control Technican - We keep'em flying
Offline

Gamera

Forum Veteran

Forum Veteran

  • Posts: 872
  • Joined: 23 May 2005, 07:54

Unread post26 Dec 2014, 07:05

IMO, when an ejection seat (duh) ejects, it doesn't necessarily break the canopy.

ISTR when a F-16 pilot bails out, first the canopy ejects itself.

For comparison, IIRC, the F-15 ejection seat-top has a spike or some-such that breaks the canopy before the seat passes through the canopy, while some canopies (such as on RAF jet fighters) have explosive charges on them to (figuratively) break the glass before the seat passes through the canopy.
Offline
User avatar

triplea

Newbie

Newbie

  • Posts: 6
  • Joined: 25 Dec 2014, 09:36

Unread post26 Dec 2014, 10:30

An F-16 canopy is jettisoned before the pilot seat is ejected. It would certainly be intact at that time.

What I was wondering about was if its survival might be used to deduce an upper limit on the plane's altitude at the time, since early reports seemed to indicate it was downed by a MANPAD of some kind. Since ISIS are known to possess such systems, it would have been odd for the fighter to be flying at low altitude in such a manner as to be targeted.

This was answered early on and events have, in any case, overtaken that line of speculation. The latest reports deny that the plane was downed by enemy action.

Regarding the friendly-fire speculation, and while we obviously cannot rule anything out with the limited information available, it seems unlikely to me that any friendly craft would have had reason to deploy any air-to-air munitions as that airspace is completely under allied control.
Offline

tbarlow

Senior member

Senior member

  • Posts: 394
  • Joined: 05 Nov 2007, 00:35
  • Location: San Antonio, Tx

Unread post27 Dec 2014, 09:38

The canopy from 87-0257 which was shot down in Desert Storm is at Pima in Tucson.


Canopy from USAF F-16C #87-0257 which was shot down over Iraq on January 19, 1991 and put on display at the Pima Air and Space Museum in mid 2005. [Photo courtesy the Pima Air and Space Museum]
Offline

labrador

Enthusiast

Enthusiast

  • Posts: 31
  • Joined: 12 Oct 2009, 17:04

Unread post31 Dec 2014, 01:09

An "interview" with the pilot is published on this link:

THE CAPTURE OF A CRUSADER PILOT

Lots of religious bla-bla on pages 1-33. I don't understand a thing. The interesting part starts on page 34.
Offline

marco9

Banned

  • Posts: 122
  • Joined: 26 Aug 2007, 14:27

Unread post02 Jan 2015, 10:26

He is confirming the downing by enemy fire... and makes sense.
I do not see any specific extorted comment, such as hate against US or requests to leave IS alone or swap him for thousands of IS prisoners or a request to the world to embrace IS view of Islam. Even the report on how the crash happened, overall makes it very realistic.
Enemy fire while flying over enemy territory, makes a lot of sense. I just don't know why, in modern military aviation any involved party, always denies losses by enemy fire like it was a tremendous shame to lose a jet against an enemy anti aircraft weapon. In this case, it would be a modern Igla or FN-6 MANPADS, not a big shame at all.

And we all know that in this type of conflicts, where the enemy is rather an infantry/insurgence force with less or no opposing air defense, military jets comes in low on several occasions: US jets over Afghanistan and Iraq engaged targets with the gun several times. Simply enough the threat is low enough to justify such a risk. Till now.

He says his flight was tasked with sweeping enemy air defenses and eventual fighter jets. I guess, the idea behind it, is that the coalition does not fully trust that Syrian Air Defense will not bother, plus they hunt for the AA-guns taken over by IS. I wonder what do the Jordanians use for that mission in that environment. GBU's or any missile?
Offline
User avatar

triplea

Newbie

Newbie

  • Posts: 6
  • Joined: 25 Dec 2014, 09:36

Unread post02 Jan 2015, 15:31

You do realize that ISIS can type up whatever they want and publish it along with a photo of the pilot, right?

For that matter, they can have the pilot say anything they want and film him.

Bottom line is that anything sourced from ISIS is suspect. To me at least, when evaluating the confidence level of what ISIS says against what RJAF or even US CENTCOM say, ISIS will lose out every single time. Which means that such a publication holds no value to me.

Now, the same publication will hold value to someone who knows what the disposition of forces actually is because it will tell them how much information ISIS have been able to extract from the captured pilot. It may also help them plug leaks that should not exist: what does the pilot know, that he should not know...?

And you can certainly safely ignore all the religious mumbo jumbo: that doesn't mean anything to anyone! :wink:
Offline

ghettobird

Senior member

Senior member

  • Posts: 317
  • Joined: 10 Nov 2004, 22:59
  • Location: Stephens City VA

Unread post02 Jan 2015, 18:29

Also 88-0550's canopy survived the ejection/destruction process when she was shot down over Serbia in '99

The canopy, a very large portion of the vertical stabilizer, and a portion of the LMG are all on display in one of their wartime museums.


The remains of the tail of USAF F-16C block 40 #88-0550 which was shot down while performing combat operations during Allied Force. Displayed at the Museum Of Warplanes in Belgrade in 1999. [Photo by HazF16]


The remains of the landing gear of USAF F-16C block 40 #88-0550 which was shot down while performing combat operation during Allied Force. Displayed at the Museum Of Warplanes in Belgrade in 1999. [Photo by HazF16]
If it aint broke dont fix it, and yes Sir its supposed to leak like that ;)
Next

Return to General F-16 forum

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 2 guests