March 30, 2012 (by Lieven Dewitte) - An F-16B MLU of the Chilean Air Force (FACh) encountered a problem during landing at its home base of Cerro Moreno near the city of Antofagasta in the north of Chile on March 30, 2012. Hydraulic failure prevented the landing gear from being extended, forcing the aircraft to perform a belly landing.
FACh F-16BM #735 from 8 gruppo sits on its belly on the runway at Cerro Moreno AB on March 30th, 2012 after suffering a landing gear malfunction.
The aircraft involved was F-16BM 735
of the Grupo 8, formerly in service with the Royal Netherlands
Air Force (#J-655
The incident forced the intervention of firefighters to prevent a possible fire. None of the two pilots were injured.
started an investigation to establish the exact causes of this mishap.
About one year ago the Dutch F-16 #J-640 from 312 squadron belly landed at Charleroi-Gosselies airport
. The airframe was due to arrive at the SABCA factory for some modification work and repainting in anticipation of it being transferred to Chile
in September of 2011. Although it could have been repaired, the associated cost would have been too high so it was replaced with #J-203