January 27, 2008 (by Asif Shamim) - An F-16 at Cannon Air Force Base was forced to jettison its external tanks after takeoff on Saturday when the jet experienced a technical malfunction.
A news release from the base went onto say the pilot was able to recover the $35 million jet and land it safely at the base.
Base spokesman Senior Airman Thomas Trower says the pilot abandoned the tanks after experiencing a serious system malfunction.
The tanks were destroyed on impact on a privately owned field about two miles northeast of the base. The tanks held 740 gallons of fuel, Trower said.
Personal from the airbase secured the site within minutes and were able to contain the fuel spillage, thus reducing environmental pollution. Staff from the base are working with state and local officials to return the field to its original state.
Trower went on to say the base was investigating what caused the malfunction.
is no longer an F-16 base with the last F-16 squadron closing shop on December 21st 2007. This mishap involved a 522nd FS
aircraft that was in the process of eventually being transfered to a new unit.