This article is a bit dated, it is from Jan 3, 2000, but considering the onslaught of official propaganda about the “safest single engine fighter in
US history”, it’s amazing that such article exist at all.
First allow me to briefly recap the troubled history of the Falcon.
In the very beginning the requirements for the small, agile, and cheap fighter were very clearly defined. It was to be a dedicated CAC fighter armed
with IR Sidewinders only, and it was to operate close to the enemies’ airspace, fighting for air superiority toe-to-toe with the best Soviet
Prime contender was the excellent, no-nonsense, reliable, easily maintained twin engine F-5, which was specifically aimed to replace the troublesome
single engine F-104, but as it usually happens in Pentagon it was side swiped by Washington lobbies in favor of gee-whiz hi-tech fly-by-wire single
engine computer wonder kid that we know as the Falcon.
Naturally F-16 won the contract, and is continuing killing its own pilots to this day. It’s a long, troubled history trail it to this day.
It took decade for USAF to admit to wire chafing problems which caused more F-16 pilot deaths in catastrophic crashes then to enemy action to THIS
The families of those pilots were LIED to and were told that all those crashed happed because of pilot error, and no compensation will be bayed by the
Well the families got together, hired investigators, and files a LAW SUIT, which they WON.
Based on these true events, HBO made a movie named “Afterburn” which clearly shows the heart felt battle of all those families with the blatant
cover up by USAF and Lockheed.
In the end the families of those pilots won the law suit, and demanded fixing and design changes which Lockheed was fighting to the end.
Here’s jus the taste of this very real article;
Insiders say an F-16 will be destroyed in a noncombat crash every 20,000 flight hours, a dismal safety record that the Air Force and the
manufacturers have failed to improve.
The Air Force has spent more than $50 billion buying frontline F-16 jet fighters since 1975. But 6 million flying hours later, the service and the
manufacturers still have not fixed the myriad and deadly problems that plague the plane.
Lockheed Martin, the company which had to be sued in order to admit rudimentary design and production flaws which are killing pilots to this day,
regularly post peachy little reports like this, to keep the lid on the true reality of their “killer” bird, or as some pilots ironically called
“Mattel-16”, keeping in memory of the poor Vietnam soldier that got stuck with “intermediate” M-16 which they called the Mattlel-16.
The truth is that F-16 is the safest AMERICAN fighter, simply because it is the ONLY single engine fighter so far, and it the most widely produce and
exported NATO fighter through out the world. The reality is that F-16 has the world’s worst TECHNICAL failure record for single engine fighter.
Pilot error is not the issue here, it’s all about CATASTROPHIC system failures, and this is where Falcon takes the cake.
Published in Israel by Ha'aretz on 1 Aug 00
IAF F-16 crashes in south
An F-16 fighter plane crashed in the south of the country
Tuesday afternoon. The pilot managed to eject himself to
After a warning notified the pilot that there was a
problem with his engine, he was forced to eject during a
regular training flight just south of Hatzerim Airbase. The
pilot was transferred to Tel Hashomer hospital for a
routine check-up after being rescued.
In order to skip NUMEROUS articles which happiliy report how much F-16 safety record is improving every year, and with a simplt google search anybody
can find plety, heres; something from 2007, coming at you straight from Iraq;
Air Force says F-16 crashes are up
By SCOTT LINDLAW Associated Press Writer
Article Last Updated: 10/22/2007 02:53:34 PM EDT
The dreaded BANG! came from deep within the F-16's lone engine, shaking the warplane as it made passes over an Arizona bombing range last December.
Then came the alarming loss of thrust.
Two attempts to restart the engine failed. Having exhausted their options, the pilot and his student bailed out, parachuting to safety before the
plane slammed into the Sonoran Desert, a $21 million loss for taxpayers.
Not all F-16 pilots have been so lucky recently. The accident rate for this workhorse fighter has risen over the past few years, and two pilots have
died in the past year, according to an Associated Press review of Air Force documents.
Read the entire article here;
I’ll repeat this one especially for thebozeian, more pilots were lost (killed) to F-16s catastrophic system failures, then to enemy fire.
Mod Edit: External Source Tags – Please Review This Link.
[edit on 1/23/08 by FredT]
[edit on 1/23/08 by FredT]