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October 17, 2018


Belgian air force mechanic opens fire by mistake, blows up another F-16

(Thanks to Geoff, Rick, Fabian, coscolo and David Roe, who added "France immediately surrendered.")


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Um, maybe I'm missing something here but...the guy was a mechanic, servicing the aircraft, right? Where exactly did the weapon come in? And since I doubt he "blew up" an F16 with a handgun, what did he use? And can I have whatever he was on?

France surrendered prophylacticly.

"We have met the enemy and he is us."


@Jeff - The mechanic accidentally triggered the 20mm cannon mounted on the F16 he was servicing.

Also, I feel certain he was in the pay of the squirrels.

“You can’t help thinking of what a disaster this could have been,” said Belgian air force Col. Didier Polome.

That's putting a positive spin on it, Sir!

Jeff, the way I read that the mechanic was servicing another aircraft whose cannon was loaded (and apparently not on 'safety') that was aimed at the burned-to-a-husk F-16 that had recently been refueled. And what, you want
an F-16 for Father's Day now?

This is why I always check the safety on my F-16 cannons before I work on it.

4 more and he's an ace

What nursecindy said.

And you can just bet that this is gonna come out of your allowance mister! (As my mother would say)

Thank heavens the ladder survived. Those things are expensive!

Vulcan Aircraft Meld will be a new training opportunity for the generation that didn't know the original Star Trek.

"I wonder what this big red button does?"

I'm thinking of writing "F16s for Dummies". I'll devote a whole chapter on where the guns are.

This would make for an excellent Mr. Bean episode, if the real event were not so scary...

What kind of KP duty do you get assigned for this?

@JG - You win the internet today!

One would think there would be some sort of safety mechanism so that the weapons don't work unless the aircraft is, you know, FLYING.

But then that scene from The Jewel of the Nile would have been even LESS realistic. :P

Ron G, there are maintenance reasons for being able to fire the gun while on the ground, but you would think there would be somne sort of lockout for a default mode.

Pogo--I would think in an age when they have nuclear weapons on fighters a weapons lockout would be pretty much standard. I agree this could get interesting without better screening of mechanics.

To follow up on Ralph's comment on red buttons, in studying psychology in college we put a person in a room, then made an excuse to leave. The room had only a table and a big red button on the wall. We observed through a one-way mirror. After a while of being left alone most people pushed the red button without a clue what it did. I suppose the moral is they shouldn't put red buttons in aircraft?

One slight editorial correction:

"An ex-mechanic....."

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