February 21, 2012 (by Asif Shamim) - An F-16C from the 18th Aggressor squadron (#86-0310) made an emergency landing during a Cope North 12 training mission in the U.S. territory of Saipan, no injuries were reported.
USAF F-16C block 30 #86-0310 from the 18th AS is flying over a closed cloud cover on June 11th, 2008. Note the '11AF ' titles on the tail. [Photo by Maarten Peters]
Airforce officials said the F-16 made the landing at about 11.00hrs local time Monday at the Saipan International Airport, then rolled off the end of the runway after suffering hydraulic problems.
Airforce official said there was no reported damage to the airfield, and the damage to the aircraft is unknown.
Francisco C. Ada/Saipan International Airport's main runway 7/25 is now back in operation for outbound and inbound flights after being closed for 17 hours during the recovery of the jet. The runway was reopened at 05.25hrs Wednesday.
Commonwealth Ports Authority acting executive director Edward Mendiola confirmed that the F-16 is being repaired by the U.S. military. Mendiola said they don't know when the repair work would be completed.
The exact cause of the emergency landing is under investigation.