March 30, 2006 (by Lieven Dewitte) - A KC-10 boom operator overcompensation caused an accident last October that resulted in $930,000 in damages to an F-16C fighter assigned to the South Dakota Air National Guard, the Air Force said on Wednesday.
A USAF F-16CJ viper waiting for the boom. Note the two AGM-88 HARM missiles and the HARM Targetting System
The U.S. Air Force released a report on the Oct. 28 accident involving an F-16 from the South Dakota Air National Guard's 114th Fighter Wing.
The investigation determined the incident was caused by the boom
operator's abrupt and excessive boom flight-control stick inputs in
reaction to the F-16C's elevated position within the acceptable air
The F-16C was conducting a refueling mission Oct. 28 over the Lake Andes Military Operations Area. During an attempted refueling, the jet was higher than expected. To avoid striking the F-16's tail, the boom operator jerked back on the boom flight-control stick, which caused the boom to move rapidly up toward the underside of the KC-10. The boom operator then abruptly pushed forward on the control stick to prevent the boom from impacting the KC-10, but in doing so caused the boom to hit the F-16C's right aft fuselage.
The jet suffered more than $930,000 damage, while the air tanker's damage tab was $75,000.
The KC-10 was assigned to the 305th Air Mobility Wing at McGuire Air Force Base in New Jersey.
Both airplanes landed safely. No injuries were reported.