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1 dead, 1 injured at WSMR

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posted on Feb, 1 2017 @ 11:27 AM
One ground controller was killed and another injured in an accident involving a pair of F-16s at White Sands Missile Range. The aircraft released unspecified munitions, hitting the controllers. The injured controller was treated at a local hospital and released.

The aircraft are based at Holloman AFB, but belong to the 54th Fighter Group out of Luke AFB, Arizona. Aircraft from Holloman frequently support operations at the missile range.

posted on Feb, 1 2017 @ 11:44 AM
Was this in flight, or on the ground?

posted on Feb, 1 2017 @ 11:45 AM
a reply to: Natas0114

Never mind, just read GROUND controller. ...
Just getting to my coffee.

posted on Feb, 1 2017 @ 11:54 AM
a reply to: Natas0114

I know the feeling. I'll be interested to see if they release the weapon type.

posted on Feb, 1 2017 @ 12:02 PM

The aircraft released unspecified munitions

As a former F-16 Crew Chief, All we do is:

Help pilot into cockpit ( after check for foreign objects and a quick preflight inspect after we did ours)
Remove ladder, plug into intercoms
Then we run through preflight checks, make sure all flaps and lights work
then we run around the live jet a few more and check and recheck
unplug and marshal the pilot out to end of runway.

Now I've worked End of Runway too.

They remove those landing gear pins and the ammo pins from missles / bombs
a last minute check to make sure nothing was missed by the chiefs
and a wait and a off they go

Now the

The aircraft released unspecified munitions

Part is interesting, because that means the ammo guys loaded the wrong thing either inside a dummy bomb or it was all and all the wrong ammo setup, but normally you know a dummy bombs used at white sands is colored suchs, normally blue or all one color that isn't normal.

So I am finding it pretty hard that someone missed such a thing and would narrow it down to an ammoguy making a jailable mistake.

Unless it was a pilot error and the dummy bomb was dropped on the controller, which I kinda doubt happened, pilots normally don't make such mistakes.

I did just think of maybe chaff and flare was engaged instead of the dummy bombs, and in that case, I could see this occurring much easier than the previous issues above.

That's basically likened to thermite, I was told chaff and flare can burn through the flightline and has before.

ouch, R.I.P.
edit on 1-2-2017 by Tranceopticalinclined because: (no reason given)

posted on Feb, 1 2017 @ 12:46 PM
Stars and Stripes says that:

The two F-16s involved had deployed “air-to-surface ordinance,” leading to the incident at around 7:30 p.m., according to a statement released by base officials.

Deployed, and other stories I have read seem to indicate that the planes were in flight when it happened.
Air Force Times
edit on b000000282017-02-01T12:54:25-06:0012America/ChicagoWed, 01 Feb 2017 12:54:25 -06001200000017 by butcherguy because: (no reason given)

posted on Feb, 1 2017 @ 03:05 PM
Fox News had a camera crew at the base last night, and has video of F-16s being loaded, but it's not clear if they were the ones involved in the accident or not.

posted on Feb, 1 2017 @ 03:07 PM
a reply to: Tranceopticalinclined

I'm not accurate on their armament, but don't they have machine guns to ?

And could it be a ready force, loaded with live ammo ?

posted on Feb, 1 2017 @ 03:21 PM
a reply to: EartOccupant

It sounds like a live ordnance test. From the wording of the articles, they were possibly using some type of missile. It sounds like it was definitely an explosive type weapon, not the gun.

posted on Feb, 1 2017 @ 03:50 PM
The individual killed was a civilian contractor. Both were airlifted to the Gerald Champion Regional Medical Center, where he was pronounced dead. The other person involved is assigned to the 7th Air Support Operations Squadron at Fort Bliss. They are a geographically separated unit belonging to the 93rd Air Ground Operations Wing out of Moody AFB in Georgia.

posted on Feb, 1 2017 @ 05:40 PM
a reply to: Tranceopticalinclined

It was a live fire exercise.

posted on Feb, 1 2017 @ 06:00 PM
a reply to: Zaphod58


That's even more insane, because now I'd like to know why there was people on the ground where live ordinance was to be dropped.

Everything is so compartmentalized when you get to the flightline aspects on base, so how miscommunications happen at that level are a little beyond what I was trained for.

Someone dropped the ball ( no pun intended )

posted on Feb, 1 2017 @ 06:51 PM
a reply to: Tranceopticalinclined

It could be a malfunction of the weapon where a missile went off course and impacted well away from the intended target area. At altitude, a small deviance in trajectory early on means a lot of difference in impact point.

posted on Feb, 3 2017 @ 07:48 PM
a reply to: Zaphod58

I 've heard of cases where ground controller accidently gave out THEIR COORDINATES instead of target

Or ordinance was programmed with wrong coordinates - case during Afghan war (2001) where 2000 lb bomb
dropped on group of Northern Alliance/US Special Forces because of mix up in coordinates

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