May 3, 2005 (by Stefaan Vanhastel) - A two-seat IDF/AF F-16D crashed today at Ramat David AFB, Israel, around noon local time. Both crew members ejected safely.
Pilot and Navigator of an IDF/AF F-16D landing after a successfull ejection. Their IDF/AF F-16D overturned on the runway at 11:00 on May 3rd, 2005, at Ramat David AFB, after an apparent failure of the landing gear. [IDF/AF photo]
The aircraft was on a routine training mission when the crew encountered a severe landing gear malfunction. Attempts to resolve the problem were unsuccessfull, and the crew ejected after the aircraft touched down on the Ramat David runway. The pilot and navigator landed safely and were taken to a hospital for medical tests.
Shortly after touchdown, while still moving at 140 knots, the pilot noticed the port main landing gear was not supporting the plane. The landing gear collapsed and the left wing hit the runway, making the F-16 veer of the runway sharply. The crew ejected immediately, and moments later the aircraft overturned.
The jet, believed to be F-16D #041
from 109 Sqn, sustained severe damage. The Israeli Defense Force/Air Force halted all F-16C/D flights pending the outcome of the investigation.
The previous IAF F-16 crash dates from February 2003 when a pilot ejected northeast of the West Bank city of Jenin. The engine stalled and the pilot made two attempts to restart it. When the plane dropped from 4,000 feet to 2,000 feet however, he abandoned it.
- IAF F-16 crashes - fleet grounded until further notice - Tuesday, February 25, 2003
- Israel's F-16 crashes during training - Monday, July 31, 2000
- Israeli F-16 crashes, pilot ditches unhurt - Tuesday, February 01, 2000
- Israel grounds some F-16s after crash - Monday, March 29, 1999
- Israeli F-16 crashes at sea - Sunday, March 28, 1999
- Israeli F-16 crashes in the Negev desert - Wednesday, September 10, 1997