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Air Force releases F-16 accident report

11/22/2005 - LANGLEY AIR FORCE BASE, Va. (AFPN) -- A fuel leak and fire caused an F-16 Fighting Falcon landing at Lamar Airport, Colo., June 28 to leave the runway and crash, the Air Force announced today.

The pilot ejected from the aircraft and suffered minor injuries. There was no private property destroyed, and the airport sustained minor damage.

The crash destroyed the $19-million aircraft from the Colorado Air National Guard's 140th Wing at Buckley Air Force Base, Colo.

An improperly installed engine augmenter fan manifold caused the fuel leak, according to the Air Force accident investigation board report. The part supplies fuel to the rear section of the engine when it is on afterburner.

The fire damaged the aircraft's engine nozzle, speed brakes and flight controls, and rendered one of the channels of the left brake inoperative.

The pilot flew a simulated flameout approach into the airport, but the broken brake caused an uncontrollable drift to the right during landing. When the pilot realized he could not prevent the aircraft from leaving the runway, he successfully ejected.

Investigators determined there is substantial evidence the failure to troubleshoot the damaged aircraft systems -- and the inadvertent movement of the brake channel switch -- did not allow the pilot to stop the aircraft on the runway.

(Courtesy of Air Combat Command News Service)

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