USAFE releases Aircraft Accident Investigation Board Report

  • Published
  • U.S. Air Forces in Europe and Air Forces Africa Public Affairs

United States Air Forces in Europe released an accident investigation board report today regarding the gear up landing of an F-16CG Fighting Falcon, assigned to the 31st FW, Aviano Air Base, Italy, which occurred March 2, 2022.

The gear up landing occurred after the aircraft experienced a blown tire and wheel separation during takeoff for routine training. The separated wheel remained on the runway as the aircraft left the ground and was quickly recovered by Security Forces.

There were no fatalities, significant injuries or damage to civilian property. The estimated damages to the aircraft are approximately $6.1 million.

The investigation board found, by a preponderance of evidence, that the cause of the mishap was the failure of wheel bearing in the landing gear. Once the wheel separated from the aircraft, it was determined that to recover the aircraft safely the pilot would need to land with the landing gear retracted.

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