F16 vs Woodpecker  (2.6M)

“Buying the farm” in an F-16 Cockpit
“Bird Strike” seen through the Heads Up Display (HUD)
Shows how quickly your day can go to pieces (45 seconds here)
45 second sequence - watch for the bird flash by prior to engine impact
Cool reaction and professionalism of two pilots, including
cockpit transmission with video.

F-16 engine ingests bird after takeoff at Tyndall AFB (12 miles east of Panama City, Florida). It’s an instructor pilot in the rear and a student in the front seat of an F-16. The aircraft voice warning system tells them they have a problem and refers to the “D-6 NL” (there’s no engine RPM). They made two attempts to relight the jet engine, but there was too much damage from the bird strike and they had to eject. Airspeed can be observed on the HUD’s upper left corner - it goes down to the low 120’s as they struggle to get the engine going again, but as the plane noses over and dives to earth it increases to at least 175 just before impact. They ran the Emergency Checklist, made two relight attempts, and picked out a plowed field for impact before ejecting. Follow the audio and hear the conversation between the pilot and instructor pilot, and then the tower - including the pilot saying they were “punching out.” The tower didn’t seem to completely understand it all, and missed the significance of the last transmission. The tower’s last radio call is addressed to an empty aircraft. The video continues until impact, even after they both eject. A classic “buying the farm” as you can see the plow rows get bigger. A real nice job from the aircrew by keeping their cool and turning the aircraft away from populated areas. No one hurt and no one killed, but the bird did cost the taxpayers a “few” million dollars!

see also  Airplane,  Emergency  &  Survivor  Sections

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