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TEL NOF AIR BASE, Israel – When Boeing, Lockheed Martin or any other U.S. airframe provider says something can’t be done – or that it must be done in a prescribed manner according to company procedures – Depot 22 of the Israel Air Force more often than not will come up with a plan of its own.
Take the case of Arrowhead, an F-15B that recently returned to flight operations after a 2011 mishap which prime contractor Boeing – and the Israel Air Force, at first – had considered a total loss. Next month marks six years since, shortly after takeoff, a flock of pelicans was ingested into one of its engines, sparking a massive fire. The pilot and navigator managed a controlled emergency landing, but the entire back end of the aircraft was burnt beyond repair.
For more than three years, U.S. Air Force officers debated what to do with the 35-year-old two-seater aircraft. Since the entire front end sustained no damage, many favored cannibalizing the cockpit and its avionics in support of other two-seaters in the force. But then specialists in Depot 22 proposed a plan to mate the front end of Arrowhead with the back end of an obsolete single-seater F-15 that had been parked out in the service’s desert “bone yard” for the past 20 years.
A badly damaged Israeli Air Force (IAF) dual-seater F-15 Baz (Falcon, as the F-15 Eagle is dubbed by IAF) fighter jet will soon return to service with parts coming from a single-seater F-15.
In Jun., 2011, the aircraft, belonging to the “Edge of the Spear” Squadron, took off from Tel-Nof AFB and when it reached 3,000 feet it was hit by a flock of pelicans. Its aircrew immediately performed an emergency landing that severely damaged the rear section of the aircraft.
According to the first accident report, the F-15’s central and rear parts were damaged beyond repair as a result of the engine burning.
Oh really? Which British Icon was that?