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Wed, Jan 07, 2004

USAF: Turbine Blade Failure Causes F-16 Crash

Failure of a turbine blade caused an F-16C Fighting Falcon to crash in an unpopulated area near Rosepine, La., on Sept. 22, according to a report Air Force officials released Jan. 6.

The pilot ejected in a sparsely wooded area about 12 nautical miles southwest of Fort Polk Army Airfield. The aircraft was part of a six-ship, unopposed surface-attack training mission, and was assigned to the 147th Fighter Wing at Ellington Field in Houston.

The engine turbine blade failed because of fatigue, although there were no external signs of excess fatigue during routine inspections, according to the Aircraft Investigation Board report.

The pilot received minor abrasions from his parachute harness during the ejection. An Army helicopter took the pilot to a medical facility where he was treated and released. There was no damage to property or injuries to people on the ground.

The value of aircraft and equipment lost totaled about $23.3 million.



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