December 23, 2003 (by Lieven Dewitte) - A National Guard F-16 Fighting Falcon had to make an emergency landing at the South Burlington Airport Monday morning. The jet, belonging to the 134th FS 'Green Mountain Boys', blew a main tire on take-off.
Emergency crews were called out as the jet circled the runway to burn off fuel.
The pilot made a slightly bumpy, but safe landing. The plane hooked onto a cable as it landed to help it slow down. No one was hurt.
David Gritsavage, the F-16's pilot, says, "Not that it's routine, but we try to make it routine. When you're up there and in trouble, your training just takes over."
All other National Guard flights scheduled for Monday were canceled, but they were to resume today. The plane in question has been impounded. They will check for damage, hoping to find out exactly what caused the tire to fail.