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F-16 Fighting Falcon News

Misawa F-16 drops concrete practice bomb on runway

December 6, 2006 (by Lieven Dewitte) - A USAF F-16 of the 35th Fighter Wing based at Misawa AB, Japan, accidentally dropped a concrete practice bomb on a runway shared by civilian and military flights.

BDU-33 training bombs on a Triple Ejector Rack (TER)

The jet came back from a night training and landed at about 19.25h at Misawa AB. Upon the after-flight check it was discovered that one BDU-33 practice bomb was missing from the jet. After a brief search, the non-explosive ordnance was retrieved from the runway.

The BDU-33 is used in training to simulate actual bombs. These 650 mm long, 11kg (25 pound) practice bombs accurately simulate large and heavier live bombs by their tail fin guidance system.

Mid-November, the same kind of practice bomb fell off a Misawa F-16 during a routine training mission.

Misawa AB is on the northeast end of Honshu Island, approximately 325 miles north of Tokyo, adjacent to Misawa City in the Aomori Prefecture. F-16s operate at all altitudes within a 200 NM radius of the base. Approximately 50 sorties are launched daily.

For most training missions, F-16s fly to the Charlie MOAs off the west coast. F-16s also frequently fly between the base and Ripsaw Range, 10 NM to the north. Misawa's simulated flameout (SFO) practice pattern extends to 10,000' over the airfield.

With thanks to Asagiri Yohko

Additional images:

USAF F-16C block 40 #89011 from 510 FS, drops a BDU-33 practice bomb over the Bardenas Range near Zaragoza AB on February 6th, 2002. [USAF photo by TSgt Dave Ahlschwede]