Giving Vipers a Safety Edge

The Air Force plans to incorporate an Automatic Ground Collision Avoidance System in its F-16 Block 40 and Block 50 aircraft in 2014 in order to dramatically reduce the risk of Viper crashes. Since the Air Force fielded the F-16 in 1979, there have been 87 aircraft and 69 lives lost as a result of controlled-flight-into-terrain, or CFIT, mishaps. With Auto GCAS, USAF officials hope to lessen that risk by 98 percent. Auto GCAS will “save lives, and it will save aircraft, and will save a lot more money than it will cost to do it,” said Gen. Donald Hoffman, Air Force Materiel Command boss at Wright-Patterson AFB, Ohio. In addition to the F-16, Air Force officials intend to integrate Auto GCAS on the F-22 and the F-35. They also are looking for ways to add it to older F-16s. (Wright-Patterson report by Daryl Mayer)