July 12, 2004 (by Lieven Dewitte) - An F-16C Fighting Falcon skidded from the runway and came to rest on its targeting pod system, ordnance and external fuel tank at Balad Air Base, Iraq on July 11th.
USAF F-16C block 30 #86-0328 from 332 AEW Montana ANG ran off the runway at Balad AB on July 11th, 2004.
The aircraft (86-0328
), assigned to Montana Air National Guard's 120th Fighter Wing at Great Falls International Airport, was deployed with the 332nd Air Expeditionary Wing supporting Operation Iraqi Freedom.
The aircraft was returning from a nighttime close-air support mission when on touchdown a malfunctioning left brake caused the aircraft to pull right during the landing rollout and leave the runway. The aircraft hit an exposed concrete manhole cover with its nose landing gear and right main landing gear and came to rest 300 feet off the taxiway.
Damage to the aircraft is estimated at $1.2 million. No one was injured during the mishap, and there was no additional damage to military or civilian property.