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F-16 Fighting Falcon News

Shake-up for safety at Hill AFB

April 15, 1998 (by Lieven Dewitte) - Forty-one F-16 fighter jets based in Utah have crashed since the planes were first stationed at Hill Air Force Base nearly 20 years ago.
The Air Force's recent dismissal of the wing commander of Hill's 388th Fighter Wing suggests that the Pentagon finally has noticed the Utah air base's less than stellar safety record.

Col. Ronald Fly, who had been the 388th's wing commander nearly a year, was dismissed early this month. Gen. Lansford E. Trapp Jr., commander of the 12th Air Force at Davis-Monthan Air Force Base near Tucson, Ariz., relieved Fly in the wake of three F-16 crashes so far this year. Fly may have been the victim of circumstances, but as the wing's commander he was responsible for the unit, the only active fighter wings stationed at Hill. Part of that responsibility includes safety. And if too many planes are colliding or crashing, he as its commander must answer for that. That seems to be what happened.