F-16 Fighting Falcon News

Practice bomb falls off Misawa F-16 into the ocean

November 16, 2006 (by Asif Shamim) - A practice bomb fell off an F-16 aircraft assigned to the 13th Fighter Squadron at Misawa Air Base during a routine training mission Wednesday, according to base officials.

USAF F-16C of the 13th FS while on a patrol flight.

The BDU-33 is non explosive training munition made from concrete. Base officials believe the device fell into the Pacific Ocean.

Brig. Gen. SAM Angelella, 35th Fighter Wing and base commander, said initially the practice munition wouldn't release during a training run over Draughon Range. The pilot then tried to drop it over the water but it again wouldn't come off.

He then planned on bringing it home but when he landed, the training munition was gone. After reviewing video footage from the aircraft, it was determined the device dropped about 10 miles out to sea in an area away from any boats or fishermen, Angelella said.

There was at least one similar incident last year in September when a Misawa jet dropped a bomb in the sea about 24-28 km from Rokkashomura after the pilot unsuccessfully tried to launch it in the Misawa Bombing Range.

"We'll do a safety investigation and figure out what happened," Angelella said.


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Additional images:

USAF F-16D block 30 #87-0390 of the 35th FS at Kunsan AB armed with BDU-33 practice bombs on a TER. [Photo by Alec Fuschi]

BDU-33 training bombs on a TER under a HAF F-16 block 52. [Photo by John]