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F-16 Fighting Falcon News

Greek Block 52+ loses wheel during take-off

May 17, 2011 (by Lieven Dewitte) - A two-seat F-16D fighter jet landed safely at Araxos Air Base in Southern Greece, earlier on Tuesday, using only its rear undercarriage after losing its nose wheel.

An HAF F-16D block 52 seen parked in front of a HAS at Araxos AB on May 17th, 2010. [Photo by Chris Lofting]

During takeoff on a training mission, the front wheel came loose. The two crew continued with the takeoff process and returned back to the 116 Combat Wing base landing the F-16 block 52+ successfully.

The jet received minimal damage as only the forward shock strut was damaged during the high angle-of-attack landing.

The Air Force General Staff officially referred to "a loss of the wheel from the plane's nose", noting that "the aircraft did not encounter other problems and landed safely at 116CW/Aerodrome Araxos". An Air Force committee is conducting an investigation to identify the causes of this incident (faulty bearing?).

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