F-16 Fighting Falcon News

UAE F-16 veers off runway at Sigonella

April 27, 2011 (by Asif Shamim) - A block 60 F-16 belonging to the UAEAF veered off the runway after landing at Sigonella Air Base on Wednesday at 11:35h local time. The pilot ejected safely.

The F-16 which was being transferred from Decimomannu, Sardinia was "involved in an incident upon landing" on the outbound runway at Sigonella Naval Air Station in Sicily, a NATO statement said.

The statement also added "The pilot ejected safely and his condition is currently being assessed,". It gave no other details.

The pilot landed the aircraft on the runway, but the jet was still moving too fast as it approached the threshold at the end of flight line when he decided to eject, official's said.

Both of Sigonella runways were closed as of Wednesday afternoon while they were inspected, but both were expected to be opened later in the day, according to NATO.

The UAE, which is not a member of NATO, deployed 12 fighter jets to Decimomannu including six F-16 Block 60s and six Mirages 2000-9s for the enforcement of a no-fly zone over Libya (Operation Unified Protector, formally known as Operation Odyssey Dawn) mandated by the United Nations Security Council.