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ASN Wikibase Occurrence # 161776
Last updated: 21 August 2019
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Date:12-FEB-1986
Time:12:30 EST
Type:Silhouette image of generic F16 model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different
General Dynamics F-16A
Owner/operator:3247th Test Sqn USAF
Registration: 78-0055
C/n / msn: 61-51
Fatalities:Fatalities: 1 / Occupants: 1
Other fatalities:0
Aircraft damage: Written off (damaged beyond repair)
Location:Gulf of Mexico, 30 miles S of Okaloosa Island, Fort Walton Beach, Flor -   United States of America
Phase: En route
Nature:Military
Departure airport:Eglin AFB, Florida (VPS/KVPS)
Destination airport:
Narrative:
Written off 12 February 1986: Flew into the Gulf of Mexico with the pilot, Captain Larry Edward Lee, being killed. Per contemporary reports:

"A USAF General Dynamics F-16A Block 5 Fighting Falcon, 78-0055, flown by a pilot of the 3247th Test Squadron, disappeared from Eglin Air Force Base's radar tracking screens at 12:30 hours, crashing in the Gulf of Mexico approximately 30 miles south of Okaloosa Island, Fort Walton Beach, Florida.

The body of the pilot, Captain Lawrence E. Lee, 31, of Kokomo, Indiana, was retrieved from the water by two rescue jumpers from a Sikorsky UH-60 Blackhawk at 1350 hours, said Eglin public affairs officer Lt. Col. Bill Campbell. A parachute was found floating nearby. The pilot is thought to have drowned after ejecting from the fighter. "There were no radio transmissions...nothing to indicate there were any problems", said Campbell. "We found no wreckage, so we can't be sure at this time what caused the crash. I don't know if we'll ever know for sure."

Hypothermia may have been a factor in the pilot's death. The Gulf's water temperature averaged between 55 and 58 degrees Fahrenheit on Wednesday. Lee was performing what was to have been the aircraft's last test flight before it was returned to the Tactical Air Command. The F-16 had been modified for use in weapons tests by Eglin's Armament Division, then restored to its original condition.

Campbell stated that he expected the Air Force to try to recover the wreckage, to examine it for clues into the accident, although he acknowledged that such a crash "doesn't always leave much evidence." Lee is survived by his wife, Major Terri Lee, assigned to Eglin's 33rd Tactical Fighter Wing. A memorial service was held at 1 p.m. on 14 February 1986 in Eglin Base Chapel No. 2."

Sources:

1. Wenzel, Tracy, Daily News Staff Writer, "Eglin pilot killed in F-16 jet crash", Playground Daily News, Fort Walton Beach, Florida, Thursday 13 February 1986, Volume 40, Number 7, page 1A
2. http://www.f-16.net/aircraft-database/F-16/airframe-profile/55/
3. http://www.joebaugher.com/usaf_serials/1978.html
4. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_aircraft_accidents_at_Eglin_Air_Force_Base#1980s


Related books:

Revision history:

Date/timeContributorUpdates
31-Oct-2013 06:35 Dr. John Smith Added
09-Nov-2014 13:32 Roup Updated [Operator]

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