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F-16 Crashes Increasing

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  • F-16 Crashes Increasing

    Crashes up despite decrease in flying

    In the fiscal year that ended Sept. 30, there were 10 “Class A” F-16 accidents — crashes that resulted in death, loss of the aircraft or damage of more than $1 million. (An 11th F-16 crash was counted separately as a combat loss by the military because the pilot was strafing enemy trucks at the time.)

    The total was up from nine the previous year, five the year before that and just two the year before that.

    The number of crashes has gone up even though the total number of hours flown has dropped steadily over the past five years.

    The rate of Class A accidents this year — 3.18 per 100,000 hours flown — was the highest since 2001, when it was 3.85 because of a rash of engine failures.

    One expert said that it may be that as the Iraq war drags on, the stress of combat is taking a toll on the 1,300 F-16s in the U.S. fleet, and their pilots.

    The F-16 is known in Air Force circles as the “lawn dart” for its tendency to plunge back to Earth when its single engine flames out, and in most years, engine failure causes more accidents than any other factor. But pilot error was responsible for about the same number of F-16 accidents as engine failure in the past year.
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  • #2
    MSNBC needs to gather the facts better Several of the 10 Class A mishaps did not invlove a crash.

    On Oct-26-06 84-1296 had an engine failure and fire on take off the A/C aborted safely
    On May-15-07 was when the flares from an F-16 started a forest fire in NJ.
    On Jun-11-07 an Aggressor F-16 collided with an F-15 durring Red Flag Alaska Returning safely
    Robin Guess Aviation Historian, Photographer, Web Designer.