PACAF releases findings on 2019 Kunsan F-16C mishap

Results of an investigation into the landing mishap of an F-16C Fighting Falcon multi-role fighter at Kunsan Air Base, South Korea, have been released by the US Pacific Air Forces (PACAF) command.

The incident occurred on December 2, 2019, at 1537hrs (local time/Korea Standard Time, KST). It involved a PACAF-operated F-16C, assigned to the 8th Fighter Wing (FW), which was landing at the South Korean air base. 

During landing, the right main landing gear collapsed upon initial contact with the runway, causing the aircraft to become uncontrollable. The pilot successfully ejected, and there were no fatalities, serious injuries or damage to private property.

8th FW F-16C [USAF/TSgt John Cronin] #1
A pair of 8th FW F-16CM Fighting Falcons - serials 88-0504 (c/n 1C-106) and 89-2150 (c/n 1C-303) - lead a twin-seat F-16DG - serial 89-2168 (c/n 1D-43) - of the same unit in a flight over South Korea in 2010. USAF/TSgt John Cronin  

Findings from an investigation into the incident were released on April 29, with the Accident Investigation Board (AIB) citing that “tension on the main landing gear was great enough to overcome the force of the downlock actuator, resulting in a collapse of the right main landing gear”.

In a press release, the PACAF added that: “This is a known issue for F-16C/D models with Blocks 40/42/50/52 and is addressed by Time Compliance Technical Order 1F-16-2855. Following the incident, the 8th [FW] implemented this Technical Order to ensure the future safety of its airmen and fleet.”

The 8th FW has operated from Kunsan Air Base since September 1974 and is comprised of the 35th Fighter Squadron (FS) ‘Pantons' and the 80th FS ‘Juvats' – both of which operate the F-16C/D Fighting Falcon.