Skip to comments.F-16 crashes in California, pilot safe
Posted on 01/19/2007 2:00:58 PM PST by Excuse_My_Bellicosity
January 19, 2007 (by Lieven Dewitte) - A California Air National Guard F-16C (#84-1279) crashed today near Owens Lake in remote eastern California, but the pilot safely ejected and was not hurt.
An engine failure in the jet caused the pilot to bail out during a training exercise, Guard officials said.
Search and rescue personnel from China Lake Naval Air Station recovered the pilot. The F-16 belongs to the 194th "Griffins" FS which is based at Fresno ANG Base, CA and is the flying unit of the 144th FW.
The cause of the crash is being investigated.
The vast and desolate Owens Lake area about 200 miles north of Los Angeles is a largely dry lakebed favored for military training runs.
It lies east of the Fresno headquarters of the California Air National Guard; The Sierra Nevada, with peaks towering above 14,000 feet, lies between the base and the Owens Valley.
The 144th Fighter Wing is the Southwest's "main operating base," where aircraft, weapons, maintenance, intelligence and support functions are clustered for the explicit purpose of homeland security.
Why is Arnold putting our children in harm's way?!
Hey, I heard from the DNC for the last 7 years that Air National Guard was just about getting drunk and avoiding war.
Serves this draft doger right!
/um, yeah, sarcasm/
Reminds me of the Navy Reserve commercial on an episode of the Simpsons: "Once you complete basic training, you only work one weekend a month, and most of that time you're drunk off your ass. The Naval Reserve: America's 17th line of defense!"
Glad he punched out safely, but wonder why he didn't dead-stick it onto the lakebed ala Edwards.
I can't believe the Dems have gotten away with smearing the National Guard all these years as part of their never-ending Bush-bashing.
Yeah. Monday-morning 1/4-backing a pilot with problems isn't productive. Mine was just an idle observation...
A similar incident with a pilot in an A4 Navy Skyhawk with VFA127 who ran out of fuel during a training exercise closer to China Lake attempted a dead stick landing and lost his life. I was helping train pilots at NAS Lemoore at the time. VFA127 is the aggressor squadron and was flying out of Lemoore and Fallon at the time. He was a well liked pilot and it was sad to see him go out this way.
That same year we lost another F-18 pilot who lost situational awareness in the same area and flew right into the wet (dry lake). Practicing low level bomb runs on a semicloudy day over water 10 feet deep that mirrored the sky and his wing watched him roll right into the lake. He caught his mistake at the last second but to late. He struck the lake rebounded and ejected low level to no avail.
Good point. We GA-types do sometimes forget that "best glide speed" in a jet doesn't buy much distance or controllability when you get there.
As another pointed out, too, the engine may have wiped out the airframe along the way.
Yep. Sometimes it is best to just tidy up the cockpit and step out...
Lemoore, huh? Think that was home to a number of the VA squadrons based on our carrier during the 'Nam era. Seems like a zillion years ago!
Color me envious!!
Yeah..... but somebody's gotta do it!!!
Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.