Skip to comments.Accident board reports jammed throttle cable led to F-16 crash
Posted on 11/28/2007 4:27:09 PM PST by Excuse_My_Bellicosity
November 27, 2007 (by Asif Shamim) - Air Force Times is reporting that an accident investigation board has concluded its investigation and released a report on Monday saying that F-16C (#91-0386) crashed due to a jammed throttle cable during a night training mission over the Nevada test range.
The pilot, Maj. David Epperson declared an in-flight emergency 46 minutes into his mission when he discovered the engine throttle was stuck at max settings for the engine. With the jet stuck with afterburners on, he realised he would be unable to make a landing at the Tonopah Test Range Airfield on March 12th.
On declaring the emergency a decision was made to let the F-16 from 16th Weapons Squadron run out of fuel. This took approximately 8 minutes for the tanks to run dry. The Majors plan was then to glide the jet into land at Tonopah.
The problem was then further compounded when the airfield automated lights failed to activate when Epperson and his Flight leader radioed in the emergency.
The lights finally came on as the Major was on approach to the airfield. Realising he would not reach the runway and only 50 feet above the desert he decided to eject. Less than 2 seconds later the F-16 crashed 1,500 feet short of the runway skidding 1,000 feet before stopping.
The accident board determined that the cable which was first installed back in 1991 had passed recent inspections. Investigators could not be certain when or how the cable became damaged.
At the time of the incident, Epperson an experienced pilot was assigned as an instructor pilot with the Weapons School based at Nellis Air Force Base. He was also the also the chief of safety for the school.
Nobody can say this dude didn't do everything he could.
That happened on my Chevy Caprice. I didn’t have to eject, but it was highly entertaining to the pedestrians in the parking lot.
These jets are fly by wire, so this must have been well downstream from the cockpit controls, or the headline is wrong.
Not like he could have jiggled the gas pedal and unstuck it.
Too bad they didn’t get their money’s worth in the person assigned to turn on the runway lights.
Kudos to the Good Major.... and it must have been a hell of an eight minutes ride!
Well now, there's an opportunity for reflections...
Well now, there's an opportunity for reflection...
Happened on my old '72 Datsun pickup too. Nobody was entertained 'cuz I just turned off the ignition and coasted off to the side.
He survived, I hope?
Has Audi been providing the cable linkage?
I'm just glad that you didn't have to eject.
“Too bad they didnt get their moneys worth in the person assigned to
turn on the runway lights.”
But it sounds like an automated system that would switch on automatically
when an emergency landing call would come in. Maybe it’s poorly written:
“The problem was then further compounded when the airfield automated
lights failed to activate when Epperson and his Flight leader radioed
in the emergency.”
I’d love to know if, after the crash, somebody said “NEVER buy those
d-mned Made In China Christmas Tree Lights for the runway again!”
Regardless of details...this sort of “landing” should get included
in some special “survival tales” of History Channel’s “Dogfights”.
Yeah, that was an option, but the Chevy had power assist everything and would have really been out of control, so I had to do other things while standing on the brakes and making rubber circles on the pavement.
I’m just guessing here, but I would imagine that an F-16 glides kinda like a brick with fins. 50 feet of altitude does not buy you a whole lot of time at that sink rate.
He did eject safely.
dang it, my dial-up doesn’t digest YouTube at all.
But I’ll take your word for it that the clip must show a pretty wild ejection.
All I can do is bump the thread...maybe some folks with more bandwidth will
latch onto the clip!
It’s a great video of a F-16 Airforce Thunderbird that tries to do a loop at an airshow. My understanding is that the airfield was higher elevation, and someone forgot to callibrate the altimeter. The pilot punches-out right before the aircraft pancakes. Added bonus: additional video taken from the cockpit.
Why didn’t he just put it in neutral? Or hit the parking brake?
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