Probe: Pilot Error Caused Thunderbird F-16 Crash

Excessive speed on a wet runway caused the June 23 crash of an F-16D Fighting Falcon fighter jet at Dayton International Airport, an internal investigation has concluded. The probe also cited insufficient stopping distance, misperception of the changing environment, and failure to follow procedures. The plane, which was attached to the United States Air Force Air Demonstration Squadron (Thunderbirds), was destroyed. The pilot was hurt, but a crewmember was not. The mishap took place while the pilot was demonstrating the aircraft’s capabilities, and maneuvers the squadron uses. As the plane was landing, the pilot could not stop it until it was past the runway. It finally came to a halt after overturning in the grass, and was totally destroyed.