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USAF Rules Pilot Error To Blame For April F-16 Accident

Landed Gear-Up During Instructional Flight

Here's one gear-up landing that was a bit more embarrassing -- and expensive -- than putting a Baron on its belly. Air Force officials at Randolph AFB in Texas recently completed their investigation of the April 2 F-16 Fighting Falcon accident at Arizona's Gila Bend Auxiliary Airfield... and, not surprisingly, the accident investigation board determined the cause of this mishap to be pilot error.

The accident resulted in substantial damage to an aircraft when it landed with its landing gear up.

The F-16 was assigned to the 56th Fighter Wing at Luke Air Force Base, AZ. The aircraft was flown by a student going through the instructor pilot upgrade course and assigned to the 61st Fighter Squadron at Luke AFB. An instructor pilot, also assigned to the 61st Fighter Squadron, was in the front seat when the mishap occurred.

Their mission was dedicated to practicing landing approaches flown from the back seat by the student pilot at Gila Bend Auxiliary Airfield.

The report said retracting the landing gear before advancing the throttle to full power to return to flight, following a successful approach and landing, caused the aircraft to settle on the ground.

Neither pilot was injured, and other than damage to the aircraft, there was no property damage. 

FMI: www.af.mil

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