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Officials release F-16 accident report

2/15/2005 - LANGLEY AIR FORCE BASE, Va. (AFPN) -- A left brake anti-skid malfunction during landing and the pilot's failure to follow an emergency checklist caused an F-16 Fighting Falcon to leave the runway while deployed July 10, according to an accident investigation board report released Feb. 15.

The aircraft came to rest on its targeting pod system, ordnance and external fuel tank at Balad Air Base, Iraq, the report stated.

The aircraft, assigned to Montana Air National Guard's 120th Fighter Wing at Great Falls International Airport, was deployed with the 332nd Air Expeditionary Wing supporting Operation Iraqi Freedom.

The aircraft was returning from a nighttime close-air support mission when on touchdown an electrical malfunction caused the left anti-skid system to sense a skid condition in the left wheel, officials said.

During the incident, the pilot failed to follow the emergency checklist, officials said.

The malfunctioning left brake caused the aircraft to pull right during the landing rollout and leave the runway. The aircraft hit an exposed concrete manhole cover with its nose landing gear and right main landing gear and came to rest 300 feet off the taxiway.

Two additional factors contributed to the accident, the board found. The pilot's vision was restricted by a lack of airfield lighting, and he focused his attention on the pedal's nonresponsiveness instead of following emergency procedures.

Damage to the aircraft is estimated at $1.2 million. No one was injured during the mishap, and there was no additional damage to military or civilian property. (Courtesy of Air Combat Command News Service)

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