If you’ve ever wondered if the F-16 is a robust, survivable platform, here’s proof that it is.
The F-16 fighter pilot clipped the top of a ridge during a ridge crossing on a low level training mission.
It is a tribute to the engine (probably a Pratt & Whitney) to continue running with tree parts stuck in it, and a tribute to the aircraft that it handled somewhat normally despite the damage, and made a safe landing. The pilot said, “I nearly killed myself, and I damaged an aircraft during a peace time mission. What an epitaph that would have been.” The accident was reportedly caused by the pilot misinterpreting the ground proximity warning system (GPWS).
The Lockheed Martin F-16 Fighting Falcon is a single engine, multipurpose fighter aircraft. Since production was approved in 1976, more than 4,500 of this type of aircraft have been built.