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
Their mission was dedicated to practicing landing approaches
flown from the back seat by the student pilot at Gila Bend
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
Neither pilot was injured, and other than damage to the
aircraft, there was no property damage.