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unhappycamper Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Nov-27-07 06:28 AM
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Board: Jammed throttle cable led to F-16 crash
Board: Jammed throttle cable led to F-16 crash
By Bruce Rolfsen - Staff writer
Posted : Tuesday Nov 27, 2007 6:04:14 EST

A jammed throttle cable led to the crash of an F-16 Fighting Falcon as it flew a night training mission over the Nevada range, an accident investigation board concluded in a report released Monday.

As the jet was just 50 feet above the desert, the pilot, Maj. David Epperson, safely ejected when he realized he would not be able to make an engine-out landing at the Tonopah Test Range Airfield on March 12. Epperson was assigned to Nellis Air Force Base, Nev., as an instructor pilot with the Weapons School and chief of safety for the school.

Epperson was 46 minutes into the mission when he discovered the engine throttle was stuck in afterburner, the highest power setting for the engine.

Epperson declared an in-flight emergency. A decision was made to let the jet run out of fuel and Epperson would glide to a landing at Tonopah. It took about eight minutes to burn off the fuel.

Eppersons onboard problems were compounded when the airfields automated landing light system failed to turn on when Epperson and his flight lead radioed an emergency signal that should have activated the lights.

The runway lights finally came on while Epperson was approaching Tonopah. As the veteran pilot realized the jet would not reach the runway, he bailed out. Less than 2 seconds later, the jet crashed about 1,500 feet short of the runway and skidded about 1,000 feet before stopping.

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