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ASN Wikibase Occurrence # 46629
Last updated: 27 October 2020
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Type:Silhouette image of generic F16 model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different
General Dynamics F-16C
Owner/operator:17th TFS, 363rd TFW, USAF (17th Tactical Fighter Squadron, 363rd Tactical Fighter Wing, United States Air Force)
Registration: 84-1218
C/n / msn: 5C-55
Fatalities:Fatalities: 0 / Occupants: 1
Other fatalities:0
Aircraft damage: Written off (damaged beyond repair)
Location:Iraqi Desert, 40 miles from Iraq/Saudi Arabia/Kuwait border -   Iraq
Phase: Combat
Departure airport:King Khalid AB, Saudi Arabia (KMX/OEKM
Destination airport:Hafr Al-batin, Saudi Arabia (KMC/OEKK)
On February 17th, 1991, Captain Scott "Spike" Thomas, with the 17th TFS, 363rd TFW, temporarily based at King Khalid Military City, was flying a night interdiction mission in his F-16C with the codename of "Benji 53". As the package was coming off of station (egress), his F-16 experience engine problems. Early reports suggested he had been hit by a Surface to Air Missile (SAM), but that has not been confirmed.

Thomas's wingman, 1st Lt Eric "Neck" Dodson, came to his aid and helped him nurse his plane closer to the Iraq-Saudi Arabia-Kuwait border, nearly 60 miles south of their position. Dodson assumed control of most radio communications between AWACs (call sign "Bulldog"), leaving Thomas free to fly his injured plane. Captain Thomas was attempting to make an emergency landing at Hafr Al-batin Air Base (at approximate co-ordinates 2754′03″N, 04531′41″E)

With less than 40 miles to go to the border, and his plane leaking what appeared to be fuel, Thomas and his wingman realize his F-16 beginning to develop a catastrophic engine fire. With a valiant effort to get as close as he could, Thomas finally decides to eject over enemy territory.

His radio contact was spotty once he was on the ground, but Search and Rescue helicopters (a package of 2 UH-60 Blackhawks and 1 MH-53J Pave Low, along with F-15E's providing Close Air Support), located his position roughly 2 hours later. The F-15E's were called in to engage an approaching Iraqi truck with cluster bombs during the extraction.

During debrief, it was realized that an SA-7 Surface to Air Missile (SAM) had been shot at the rescue helicopter in which Thomas was riding, but the missile was out of range and landed short. It was also learned that Thomas had less than 1 hour of freedom, as there were Iraqi troops within 2 miles of him in 2 different directions.



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Revision history:

04-Nov-2008 10:35 ASN archive Added
03-Jul-2009 04:49 Jakub Cikhart Updated
07-Nov-2013 17:02 Dr. John Smith Updated [Cn, Operator, Location, Country, Phase, Departure airport, Destination airport, Source, Narrative]
07-Nov-2013 17:06 Dr. John Smith Updated [Time, Source]

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