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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
MOUNTAIN HOME, Idaho -- Seen in a photo released Friday, Jan. 30, 2004 by the U.S. Air Force, Capt. Christopher Stricklin ejects from the USAF Thunderbirds number six aircraft less than a second before it impacted the ground at an air show at Mountain Home Air Force Base, Idaho in September 2003. Stricklin, who was not injured, ejected after both guiding the jet away from the crowd of more than 60,000 people and ensuring he couldn't save the aircraft. This was only the second crash since the Air Force began using F-16 Falcons for its demonstration team in 1982. Nobody was injured in the crash. The Air Force blamed the incident on pilot error. The Thunderbirds are based at Nellis Air Force Base in Las Vegas. (02/04/04 AP photo)


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its still a wonder the guy was not killed.. he was too low for a parachute (im guessing) and the plane must have been going fast...
very noble to risk his own life so as to not hurt the crowds of people.
 

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I 'll try and answer that for you. The ejection seat in the F-16 is capable of ejecting a person out of the airplane and completely deploy their parachute even if they are sitting on the ramp not moving. The good Capt. almost waited too long to eject. In the F-16 the canopy has to be jettisoned from the aircraft before the seat will fire. The whole sequence only takes around two seconds if I remember correctly. From what I understand the pilot miscalculated when he started his maneuver by pulling the jet back toward the ground 1000' early and didn't give himself altitude to finish the split S.
outta here
 

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I've had the pleasure of seing the Thunderbirds perform twice. It is awe inspiring and showcases our military in a good light. The F-16 is an absolutely amazing aircraft and I wouldn't want to be on the receiving end of them in time of war. I think the Thunderbirds are the second best aerial performing pilots in the world. And given an oppertunity, I'd go see them again.
 

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I for one hate an F-16., so the hate affair is strictly from a maintenance point of view. Been working on them since the USAF bought them and they never seemed to get any better. But when they work they are fantastic. I still think the best air shows with the thunderbirds was when they used the good old F-4 Phantom. Lots of smoke fire and noise, and a hefty sized aircraft you did not need to strain your eyes to see do its thing. I had three rides in an F-16 so far, had a heap of rides in the old F(RF)-4s. First time in a F16 we ground aborted on takeoff roll for a augmentor blowout, same thing second attempt, and the third attempt at a later date resulted in a Fire and Overheat lite coming on during rotation. Three attempts before I actually got to get a decent ride, not counting the orbit and dumping fuel and putting it back on the ground after the overheat light came on, Was already rotated and at approx 100 AGL when that happened.

I have an photo of an F-4 thunderbird flying inverted along the flight line at Nellis with his gear extended and his hook down well actually its down but its pointing up since he is inverted.
 
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