Skip to comments.Third F-16 forced to land at Syracuse Airport
Posted on 11/10/2004 4:28:41 PM PST by Excuse_My_Bellicosity
For the third time in less than two weeks an F16 Fighting Falcon was forced to make an emergency landing at Syracuse Hancock International Airport.
It happened Sunday morning when the pilot reported an afterburner problem shortly after takeoff.
The jet was participating in an exercise. Around 08.45h the Viper pilot began circling the airfield for about half an hour to spend fuel before landing. F-16s are not designed to land on a full tank. Too much fuel makes them too heavy to land safely.
Another F-16 landed on October 29th because of a brake malfunction, and on November 1st yet another one blew two tires on landing after the pilot reported brake problems.
No injuries were reported in any of the landings.
Hancock field is preparing for an operational readiness inspection in January that will test the unit's ability to move its people, cargo and jets to the battlefield.
The 138th Fighter Squadron converted in 1993 from the F-16A to the Block 30 models. In October 1998, the Wing swapped aircraft with the 149th FW of the Texas ANG and received Block 25 F-16s.
Heh heh heh.... Hog's a great airplane, if there's no one around shooting them down. Not very good without air superiority (read F15). The mighty Viper (F16 slang nickname) the "Boys from Syracuse" are flying is an older variant but still very capable. Probably built 1984-1986, with lots of lifespan left. Accidents happen in rashes, and a simple afterburner blowout is no big deal. The breaks may get hot from a heavyweight landing, but thats no big deal either. General Dynamics sold out to Lockheed a ways back, and they still build awesome aircraft. You conspiracy folks are making me chuckle. Stuff happens with high tech fighters, and most of the time its the pilot who makes an error, not maintainance troops or mechnical failure. These are incredibly reliable for their complexity (check out soviet accident rates; whooo boy)but not infallible.
Things must be pretty boring in Syracuse NY if they are reporting this stuff. None of these problems are uncommon in any fighter. Also, you don't land "because of a brake malfunction." Think about that for a second...since you don't use them in the air, is there really a need to land if you think they don't work. Anyway, there might be a problem if three jets had to land because of a similar engine problem, or similar hydraulic problem, or similar electrical problem etc. But this sounds more like a normal month in most fighter squadrons.
The "brake problem" I assumed referred to the dive brakes or spoilers. If this system was inop, it could lead to blown tires on landing due to higher than normal amount of friction braking needed to stop the aircraft.
Also, possible loss of hyd. to braking system before wheels up indication.
You don't need the speedbrakes to land. They really don't slow you down that much on landing rollout. But it may have been a hydraulic problem which could result in brake failure. You'd think this intrepid reporter would have called it a hydraulic problem instead of a brake problem if that was the case. But then again, why expect a newspaper reporter to report with accuracy.
I'm sure that's true. Some Air Force guy probably talked to a buddy of his who is a reporter and the reporter decided it would make an interesting story for a slow news day. At Hill AFB in Utah, the F-16s fly tons of exercises over the west desert. They have their share of brake fires, emergency landings because some indicator was in the red, or something wasn't quite working right. In 2002, there was a pilot who ejected because he blew out a tire at 85 knots on takeoff roll and the pieces took out his steering and some vital electronics (pilot ejected OK, mishap board found that his actions were acceptable). The plane went off the runway, flipped several times, and was a total loss. That mishap never made the papers.
I think I would review my "mechanics" pay. Firstly the mechanic would not be there if not at least qualified on paper. You get what you pay for. Secondly, old equipment is old equipment.
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