March 9, 2009 (by Asif Shamim) - Catastrophic engine failure caused an F-16C to crash on the flight line at Balad Air Base, Iraq, November 12, 2008, Air Combat Command officials announced today.
USAF F-16C block 50 #93-0554 from the 55th FS seen 5 hours after being destroyed when a fire broke out while the engine was running at Balad AB on November 12th, 2008.
Catastrophic engine failure caused F-16C #93-0554
to crash on the flight line of Balad Air Base, Iraq, November 12, 2008, Air Combat Command officials announced today.
According to the Accident Investigation Board report, the aircraft was initiating an afterburner takeoff when the second stage disk fan failed causing fan section components to tear through the rest of the engine.
Investigation analysis of the disk showed a previously undetected sub-surface crack. The crack is estimated to be a result of the manufacturing process but showed no abnormalities that would have been cause for rejection at the time the second stage fan disk was fabricated. The metallurgical analysis could not identify a root cause for the subsurface crack.
The second stage fan disk is attached as a part of the engine fan rotor assembly as one of three stages used to drive the engine and produce thrust to achieve and maintain flight.
The plane was deployed to the 55th Expeditionary Fighter Squadron, 332nd Air Expeditionary Wing at Balad AB in October 2008 from the 20th Fighter Wing, Shaw Air Force Base, South Carolina. The $28.8 million aircraft was destroyed during impact and the subsequent fire.