Tag Archives: f-16

Report: F-16 Pilot Flew into Afghan Mountain

The Air Force Times reports on the Air Force investigation that determined Capt James Steel was flying visually when he impacted a mountain during his recovery to Bagram Air Base, Afghanistan, in April of this year:

The report released by Air Combat Command officials at Langley Air Force Base, Va., says 29-year-old Capt. James Michael Steel crashed April 3 about 12 miles outside Bagram Air Field…

The report says Steel flew into a mountainous area obscured by poor weather conditions and that he did not attempt to eject before slamming into the mountain. The report says Steel was flying below the minimum safe altitude at the time of the crash.


Lieutenants Get First Flights in F-22 Raptor

Some time ago the Air Force began giving pilot training graduates an assignment to the F-22 directly out of UPT.  Previously, pilots had to be trained in another fighter — F-15, F-16 — first, then take the F-22 as a future assignment. The F-22 was always intended to be a traditional “pipeline” fighter, however, so it was only a matter of time before the first F-22 Lt took to the air.

After three years of rigorous U.S. Air Force pilot training, 25-year-old 1st Lt. Andrew Van Timmeren, 7th Fighter Squadron pilot, finally Read more

F-16s Collide, One Pilot Ejects

Two US Air National Guard F-16s collided over the ocean near the coast of Virginia. One pilot ejected, the other recovered his aircraft:

Two Air National Guard fighter jets collided midair, forcing one of the pilots to eject into the sea and be rescued by a Coast Guard helicopter a few hours later off the Virginia coast, officials said Friday.

The other pilot involved in the collision was able to fly back to Joint Base Andrews, Md. Both jets were from the 113th Wing D.C. Air National Guard and were on a routine training mission

The Coast Guard took the unusual step of posting a video of the at-sea rescue on the internet:

The Air Force will investigate the incident and report on its findings some months from now.

Also at the Stars and Stripes.


T-38 Crashes in Texas, Crew Ejects

The two-man crew of a T-38C at Sheppard AFB ejected with minor injuries on Friday. As with the prior F-16 mishap a few weeks ago, there are already reports that the jet was downed by a birdstrike.  One of the pilots reportedly descended through the fireball.

The Air Force took the unusual approach of rapidly identifying the crew:

Maj. Christopher Thompson was instructing a member of the German Air Force, identified…as 1st Lt. Julius Dressbach.

As with all mishaps, the Air Force will investigate and report on its outcome.  Until then, a video of the wreckage has already made the internet.


The Easy Thing for the Air Force not always the Right Thing

LtGen Craig Franklin is the 3rd Air Force Commander and the convening authority for the court martial of LtCol James Wilkerson, the Aviano F-16 pilot who was convicted of sexual assault at court-martial.

LtGen Franklin vacated the ruling and dismissed the case, a move that has been strongly criticized.

A few have missed the fact that Gen Franklin had to make either an affirmative or negative decision on the recommendation of the court-martial — there was no neutral position.  He chose not to approve the ruling, as was his authority, and he explained Read more

Air Force Identifies Pilot Killed in Afghanistan

The US Air Force identified the F-16 pilot killed in Afghanistan last week as Capt James Steel, a 2006 US Air Force Academy graduate and Shaw Air Force Base pilot.

The F-16 reportedly crashed while on a night final approach to Bagram Air Base after his fragged sortie.  News reports do not indicate a family, other than his father, retired MajGen Robert Steel.


F-16 Crashes in Afghanistan, Pilot Killed

An American F-16 has reportedly crashed in Afghanistan, killing the pilot.  The ISAF release noted only that a plane had crashed, though other news sources identified the nationality as US:

A U.S. military pilot was killed when his F-16 fighter jet crashed while on a night flight over mountainous terrain in Afghanistan, officials said Thursday.

The articles seem to indicate it was not likely a result of hostile fire.

His identity has been withheld pending notification of next of kin.


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