Various Articles

Daily ground operations with the Viper

Various - Main menu
By Bjorn Claes
  1. Introduction by SrA. Eliot C. Creel
  2. Bright and early in the morning.
  3. Aircraft launch procedures
  4. End of runway inspection
  5. Hot refueling operations
  6. Integrated combat turnaround (ICT)
  7. Aircraft recovery procedures
  8. Thruflight inspection
  9. Basic postflight inspection
  10. The end of the flying day


Although it is very hard to describe what kind of ground ops are performed on every F-16 in existance, I am gonna try to provide a general listing of some of the more common daily operations at a normal fighter squadron. Remember though, this is only a fraction of the maintenance and personnel it takes to keep an F-16 proudly roaring over our skies.

SrA. Eliot C. Creel

Waking Up the F-16 for Daily Operations

  1. The first order of business is always removing the protective covers that are placed on the pitot tube, the angle of attack probes, the pitot static probe, the engine inlet, and sometimes the engine exhaust.
  2. The Crew Chief will then set up his communication cord and headset for keeping in touch with the crew member during the launching operations.
  3. The specialists (which take care of radar, electronics, and environmental systems) will usually come around and perform a short operational checkout of one of their systems.
  4. The weapons crew normally moves from jet to jet as they do a last checkout of the bombs, missiles, and countermeasures they loaded the night before.
  5. The Crew Chief will also do a last look around the whole jet for anything out of the ordinary just in case it was missed the night before.
  6. Around 45 minutes to an hour prior to scheduled take off time, the Pilot now enters the scene and we move to the next level which is launching operations.

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