The collapse of the right main landing gear caused an F-16C to skid off the runway and crash immediately after landing on July 16 at Osan AB, South Korea, announced Air Combat Command. Several seconds after departing the runway, the F-16’s nose landing gear also collapsed, causing the aircraft to flip and roll, states ACC’s Nov. 5 release, which cites the findings of the command’s accident investigation board report. The F-16, deployed to Osan from Shaw AFB, S.C., was returning to base after completing a training mission when the mishap occurred. The pilot, a member of Shaw’s 55th Fighter Squadron, did not eject and sustained a minor back injury; he was able to exit the aircraft, after which emergency responders transported him for medical care, according to the release. The accident investigators determined that installation of an incorrect pivot pin in the toggle-and-link assembly in the right main landing gear allowed the assembly to come unlocked, leading to the collapse. The loss of the F-16 is valued at approximately $33.5 million, according to ACC. (AIB report; caution, large-sized file.)
Boeing’s receipt of the 10th lot contract award for the KC-46 Pegasus this week leaves just three lots left to complete the Air Force’s buy of the tanker, although a further buy of 75 additional aircraft as a “bridge” to the Next-Generation Aerial-refueling System (NGAS) seems increasingly likely.