CT155 Hawk and F-16 - Epilogue

Report / June 18, 2010 / Project number: CT155 Hawk and F-16 - E Category

Location: 4 Wing Cold Lake, Alberta
Date: 2010-06-18
Status: Investigation Complete

The near miss occurred when a single F‑16 from a visiting force flew over the inner runway, where a CT155 formation was completing an “in stream” touch and go.  The F-16 pilot requested a battle break to the outer runway but incorrectly aligned his aircraft over the inner runway.  During the run-in he inadvertently exceeded the maximum speed of his aircraft.  ATC had cleared the F-16 pilot for a battle break to the outer runway even though battle breaks were not authorized for single aircraft.  The F-16, now moving at 580 knots, flew 200’ above the number two CT155, which had just lifted off the runway from a touch and go.  Midway down the runway, the F-16 pilot was surprised to sight the lead CT155 aircraft airborne and in his flight path.  To avoid the lead CT155 aircraft, the F-16 pilot entered a hard right climbing turn, resulting in a g limit exceedance to his aircraft.  Once clear of the conflict, he rejoined to the outer runway, where he further over stressed his aircraft while extending the landing gear.

The F-16 pilot was a qualified wingman at the end of his first week on the exercise.  He had never flown a battle break before nor had he received any additional instruction on how to complete the manoeuvre.  The F-16 pilot mistakenly believed the battle break was to be flown over the inner runway for a break to the outer runway.  In addition, he intended to fly his aircraft as fast and as low as limits would allow.

During the pilot’s in-briefing, 4 Wing personnel verbally described a battle break and encouraged the visiting pilots to do it.  The battle break was not a recognized procedure in the occurrence pilot’s home country and numerous questions were asked regarding the procedure during the briefing.  The briefing did not depict any diagrams of the battle break because aircrew had previously critiqued the ATC briefing for being too lengthy.  As well, the In-Flight-Guide issued to the visiting pilots did not provide any details of the battle break, although pilots were directed to consult the local flying orders. 

To prevent the likelihood of a re-occurrence, a number of administrative changes were made by 4 Wing and the visiting force.  Fundamentally, however, the occurrence was a result of the F-16 pilot’s misplaced aggressiveness and sole reliance on his recall of how to perform the manoeuvre.  The pilot has subsequently reflected on the constant requirement to exercise superior judgement and to maintain air discipline.

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