Thai F-16A ADF Fighting Falcon written-off in crash

A Lockheed Martin F-16A-15 ADF Fighting Falcon belonging to the Kongtap Agard Thai (Royal Thai Air Force; RTAF) was written-off after it crashed in the Chatturat district of Thailand’s Chaiyaphum province at approximately 1340hrs (local time) on March 8.

The multi-role fighter – serial 10331 (c/n 61-601) – was reportedly conducting a local training flight over the region at the time of the crash and was assigned to 1 Wing’s 103 Squadron at Korat Air Base, which is located in the centre of the country’s Nakhon Ratchasima province. While the aircraft was destroyed as a result of the crash, the pilot managed to safely eject and only sustained a broken arm as a result of this attrition event.

RTAF F-16A-15 ADF Fighting Falcon [USAF/Capt Joshua Gunderson]
A RTAF-operated F-16A-15 ADF Fighting Falcon conducts tactical flight operations from Korat Air Base, Nakhon Ratchasima, during Exercise Cope Tiger on March 12, 2013. USAF/Capt Joshua Gunderson

AVM Prapas Sonjaidee, an RTAF spokesman, told local media sources that ACM Napadej Dhupatemiya – the commander-in-chief of the RTAF – had ordered a full investigation into the cause of the crash. Early reports suggest that the F-16A-15 ADF developed a technical malfunction during flight, which ultimately led to the crash.

Following the crash, an image was shared of the F-16A-15 ADF’s ejection seat, on which the US serial 82-1008 could be seen. Initially, the multi-role fighter entered service with the US Air Force (USAF) in March 1984. It was operated by a variety of USAF squadrons before it was placed into long-term storage in February 1998.

The fighter was given a second lease of life in 2002/2003, when it entered service with the RTAF under the Peace Naresuan IV programme. This specific F-16A-15 ADF was assigned to 102 Squadron and serialled 10210 until October 2021, when the unit was disbanded, the aircraft was re-serialled as 10331 and transferred to 103 Squadron.