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Technician Accidentally Sets off an F-16 Cannon Blows Up Another F-16

A technician Accidentally Sets off an F-16 Cannon Blows Up Another F-16 at the Florennes Air Base on October 11. A technician in one of the F-16s accidentally hit the metaphorical big red button and activated its six-barreled Vulcan M16A-1 cannon. A F-16 had recently been fully fueled for a training run, and the bullets hit the gas tank. ( More...

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Charles Baker 26
Only 4 to go and this guy will be an Ace.
Pete Goldman 2
3 to go. Gets credit for his too.
joel wiley 3
Own goals also count.
Rex Bentley 6
If anything can go wrong it will go wrong. Murphy is alive and well and still with us!
joel wiley 5
Murphy was an optimist.
That does it. Effective immediately, Dick's Sporting Goods will no longer sell Vulcan cannons. It's for the children.
Ric Wernicke 9
Good thing he didn't find the handle for the ejection seat.
joel wiley 6
Maybe not. Would be cheaper to fix.
jacken 2
He did and now lives in Prague...
Mike R 0
I was at the Willow Grove airshow on the day after that happened.
Robert Embury 0
Sad really. Is our world getting more stupid?
Could this have been for a new State Farm commercial? "Been there. Covered that."
David Grimm 5
That's Farmers, not State Farm.
...said the technician
cspaugh 5
We. Are. Belgians. Bah, bah, bah, bah, bah, bah, bah!
James Simms 0
Robert May 4
When F16 cannons are outlawed only outlaws will have F16 cannons.
jacken 4
Thankfully, the weapons test went without a hitch.
wingbolt 3
I guess it needs a grip safety like Springfield puts on their XDs!
Jose Mejia 3
"An unfortunate training exercise involving an F-16 Falcon occurred yesterday. I am please to report that the pilot was not injured." Lt Col James "Rhodey" Rhodes
Ant Miraa 1
ToddBaldwin3 3
I don't think i've seen a six barreled M16 before. A six barreled M61A1, yes.
Kevin Haiduk 3
"What's this button do?"
Will his defense be "it just went off by itself"? I dunno about this, but I would think there is more to firing the cannon than accidentally hitting one button.
Torsten Hoff 6
Or "I didn't know it was loaded" -- that one is very popular, too.
sparkie624 14
The other one in the Maintenance World... "It required a Functional Check"... In this case... "Functional Check Good" and they have the other plane to prove it!
Roger Curtiss 3
No, the defense is, "I was cleaning it and it accidentally went off"
sparkie624 1
Crazy and expectorating things happen that you would never think of...
ToddBaldwin3 3
It spit out quite a few things.
alan75035 4
That'll buff right out.
James Simms 1
A little Bondo, bailing wire, chewing gum, & elbow grease ought to do it
James Carlson 1
Just wrap it in speed tape. It'll hold.
Bill Butler 2
WOG Switch. Weight on Gear. Can be disabled. For example when doing ground gear checks. So, I would think that the only way a gun could be fired on the ground would be to disable the switch. Unless you're an Aircraft Carrier and back up the starter unit next to the head of a Sidewinder. That was very costly....
lynx318 2
Maybe first thing in maintenance should be back ordinance out of load chutes.
How to prevent

Don't mess around in a jet with the power on and the cannon loaded.
The technician now is called "Ballermann 6" ;)
scott8733 2
The article title should have been completed as "...blows up another F-16 and needs a new pair of underwear" HA!
Kevin Haiduk 1
I was just laughing at the title, but this adds a little more.
no kidding! HA!
mariofer 2
Hey Lieutenant! Cannon's working.
James Simms 2
Pleasantly surprised a 2 Lt wasn’t involved.
pagheca 2
aviation math: F16 - F16= Zero
Arnold Aasen 2
Directorate has opened an investigation to see what, exactly, they can do to make sure something like this doesn’t happen again, possibly with even worse results.

Sounds like typical bureaucrats when they get done the results could be worse.
James Carlson 2
"Cannon ground-tested operational. 11-OCT-2018. Joe Mechanic, #1234567, /s/"
Tim Marks 3
This is not accidental, there is more than one safety interlock for the gun when on the ground that must be disengaged before it can fire.
ToddBaldwin3 7
That is correct, but safety interlocks can, and have to be, bypassed by maintainers when performing maintenance.
chalet 2
Earlier this year an AMRAAM AIM-120 missile accidentally launched from an Spanish Air Force Eurofighter while airborne. Fortunately there was no damages other than the 1 million dollars it cost. So far nobody says what happened, a pilot depressing the button or that some shortcircuit was the culplit.
chalet 1
Thomas Cain 1
You were closer the first time, if it was a 120C the unit cost is between 300000 and 400000. If it was a 120D then the cost is 1.786 million
chalet 1
I meant to say Euros 100 million for the Amraam and a sister Eurofighter in formation if it was in front of the culprit.
michael may 1
Hey it`s good news for the US arms industry - 2 new sales on the way.....
Mike R 1
Does anyone remember when an F16 on live fire training strafed a New Jersey elementary school? I've searched all over but can't find photos of the damage.
James Carlson 1
Have Google, will travel.
Mike R 1
Thanks, but as I said "I've searched all over but can't find PHOTOS of the damage." The links you posted lead to text only articles. I've tried Google for this story before and it hasn't been my friend.
James Carlson 1
Oops; you're right. Photos are hard to find. The only one I found was from a distance showing the police tape.
Mike R 2
No problem. The discussion motivated me to do some more looking. From what I scanned over on other forums it seems that the rounds were just solid projectiles, nothing incendiary, so the damage to the building may not have been very photogenic.
This is not supposed to happen if the gear is down as there is a switch to prevent the gun from firing!
Just when you think you have made something idiot proof Darwin sends the uprated idiot
joel wiley 2
According to the vendor's manual, this can't happen.
AWAAlum 0
I thin it's not supposed to happen for more reasons than that.
John Cooper 1
WOW. That's the name of the signal (Weight On Wheels) that, among other things, kept the guns from firing when the F16 was on the ground. It must not be that way anymore.
Peter Maas 1
Safety First !!!! Good thing that technician wasn't working in the Oval Office where President Trump has a RED BUTTON on his desk.
bigbill3111 1
A good friend of mine retired after many years in the Air Force. He was in the fire and rescue dept. Told me about a guy with a screwdriver in his pocket working in the cockpit of a plane in a hanger. Went to get out and the screwdriver hung up in the ejection handle. Said they pretty much had to use a spatula to get him off the ceiling of the hanger.
Peter McGrath 1
In the words of Steve Erkel "Did I do that?"
Edward Bardes 1
This isn't the first time something like this has happened.
Roger Curtiss 1
Said the mechanic, "DOH!"
Iain Girling 1
Presumably he is now a “former” technician.
sharon bias 1
I hate to say this, but could there possibly be a design flaw? Engineers make perfect plans all the time that don't take into account humans. A button whose placement makes perfect sense on paper is right in the way of where a human will logically put his/her hand while working. Anyone who's taken apart a PC will tell you that to replace or upgrade memory involves ripping apart all of the PC's innards. Great engineering, lousy ability to work on the product.
Juan Ruth 1
This is my story and I’m sticken to it.
Allan Bowman 1
Who says it was accidental? Oops or gotcha?
jptq63 1
So, will they need to buy a few more planes? Seriously, what kind of bid / version would they replace the F-16(s) that are destroyed. I would think a min purchase size (guess 4 - 8 planes) and a more current version; presuming no deaths / major life changing injuries to the reported 2, might be a small blessing.....
James Simms 1
I’d guess transfer some from ANG units that has/are transitioning to the F-22/F-35. Or pull some from AMARG
chalet 1
The Belgians will ask AMARC to first REMOVE any and all dangerous accoutrements such as but not limited to Vulcan cannons, rails and the weapons themselves AIM9 Sidewinders, Amraams, Zunis, et all.
Shenghao Han 1
First F-16 to shoot down another F-16??

(I guess there isn't many fail-safe for the gun to fire on the ground then...)
lynx318 1
Friendly fire?
Pete Goldman 1
3 more and he's an "ace".
Gary Stemen 0
Shades of John McCain.......
Philip Lanum -3
Stop lying.
The A-4 next to John McCain's aircraft was hit by the Zuni rocket that came from a F-4. John McCain was on the receiving side of the missile.

Your perpetuation of misleading and false statements just makes you look like a fool and a troll.
Amen - Few remember that the LA Times and other national papers came out with a story, just prior to the election where McCain was running that he was a reckless pilot who had destroyed 3 airplanes ( 1 engine came apart in flight, the flight deck catastrophe where a missile hit his airplane and a lucky shot by a N Viet gunner that sent him to the Hanoi Hilton)
Tragic, and perfectly avoidable, and something like this will happen again, guaranteed, while humans are involved. And there was I thinking that this was a serious discussion forum, yet many of the smart ass comments disprove that silly notion.
joel wiley 2
It is a forum for serious discussion. Just a low signal to noise level in recent times.
patrick baker 0
here is a gigantic "no-no". there are no suitable nor satisfactory excuses for this this category of
error. Also, there is not pennance than can be done to rectify this. wRITE THE aircraft off
improper training or not truly knowledgeable of the aircraft and its functions? the article says the "technicians" were injured,so unless they were on a suicide mission, that will come into play..
Alan Hume -1
I think this may be just another aberration of that new devil infiltrating our media these days ... fake news! I can't see how this could have possibly occurred as reported. There are too many built-in safeguards to prevent this sort of thing happening when a modern day fighter jet is sitting on the ramp.
Ed Blanchard -3
This is obviously a self-inspired story from a self-inspired “journalist”. Poor spelling and even worse grammer marks this as comedic story-telling. No military aviation would allow a loaded and active gun pod on a fueled aircraft sitting on a parking ramp. THEN, there is the disregard in this fantasy report for interlocks and safeties: Armament systems cannot be armed, much less fired, while the landing gear are down and bearing weight. Finally, there’s the issue of safery pins and their highly visible flags. And what about the accompanying photo that screams “amatuer”.

Nope- somebody snookered the news publication that printed this tripe and, unfortunately, FlighAware.
Stu Bruins 6
Be careful in that glass house of yours.
8literbeater 1
Don't forget "FlightAware".
James Carlson 3
Depending on your political leaning you can select among these alternative sources for essentially the same story. You're welcome.


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