30 Oct '13, 5pm

Investigation: Pilot killed while ejecting from F-16

Investigation: Pilot killed while ejecting from F-16

An F-16 pilot was killed as he ejected during a night training mission in January off the coast of Italy, an Air Force investigation has found. Capt. Lucas Gruenther, chief of flight safety for the 31st Fighter Wing at Aviano Air Base, flew as part of a formation of three F-16CMs and one F-16DM during training over the Adriatic Sea. The pilots, flying with the use of night vision goggles after a 7:03 p.m. takeoff, were forced to abandon their first training mission because of weather, and instead focused on two simulated bomb drops as a backup mission. The four jets broke into teams of two, and the first part of the mission was executed withoutany problems. At 7:48 p.m. local time, about 45 minutes after takeoff, Gruenther flew a simulated drop followed by a “last ditch” defensive maneuver followed by recover maneuvers, which were intended to simulate the threat of a surfa...

Full article: http://www.airforcetimes.com/article/20131030/NEWS/310300020

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