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ASN Wikibase Occurrence # 46622
Last updated: 6 May 2019
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Date:03-APR-1991
Time:
Type:Silhouette image of generic F16 model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different
General Dynamics F-16A
Owner/operator:119th FIS, 177th FIW, New Jersey ANG, USAF (119th FIS, 177th FIW, New Jersey ANG, United States Air Force)
Registration: 81-0758
C/n / msn: 61-439
Fatalities:Fatalities: 1 / Occupants: 1
Other fatalities:0
Aircraft damage: Written off (damaged beyond repair)
Location:Atlantic Ocean, 60 miles SE of Atlantic City, New Jersey -   United States of America
Phase: En route
Nature:Military
Departure airport:Atlantic City ANGB, New Jersey (ACY/KACY)
Destination airport:
Narrative:
F-16A 81-0758 of the 119th FIS, 177th FIW, New Jersey Air National Guard, USAF was written off on April 3rd 1991 when it crashed into Atlantic Ocean 50 miles south east of Atlantic City, New Jersey. The pilot, Major Robert Dean Ashenfelter, was missing and is presumed dead. The flight was a training mission with three other F-16s.

Per the following extract from contemporary newspaper reports:

"New Jersey officials said an accident investigation team, led by a colonel from the Tactical Air Command at Bergstrom Air Force Base in Texas, would begin convening today. Such inquiries usually take one to four weeks, said Roman M. Martyniuk, spokesman for the state Department of the Military and Veterans Affairs.

Ashenfelter, who worked as a commercial pilot for USAir and flew an F-16 fighter jet for the New Jersey Air National Guard, was on a routine training mission, flying about 450 knots - roughly 515 m.p.h. - when he crashed into the ocean 60 miles southeast of Atlantic City, officials said.

The cause is still unknown, Martyniuk said there was "no distress signal, no indication that there was any problem" before the crash, which was seen by another F-16 pilot.

Ashenfelter did not eject from his plane, and his remains were found among the plane's debris Tuesday, said Capt. Joan F. Searfoss, a spokeswoman for the Pomona-based 177th Fighter Interceptor Group, nicknamed the Jersey Devils.

Searfoss said that the $16 million jet came to rest in 180 feet of water - just under the maximum for recovery dives - and that it would be up to the investigation team to decide whether to attempt a recovery."

Members of Ashenfelter's family said they were told by officials that he was piloting the lead plane in a two-plane formation. His wife said he was approaching a "target" plane, about 1,000 feet above the water, when he ''pretty much went nose down." The second pilot tried to communicate but got no response, family members said.

Sources:

1. http://www.f-16.net/aircraft-database/F-16/airframe-profile/1099/
2. http://www.joebaugher.com/usaf_serials/1981.html
3. http://web.archive.org/web/20170218120105/http://www.ejection-history.org.uk:80/Aircraft_by_Type/F-16/USAF/f_16_USAF_90s.htm
4. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/177th_Fighter_Wing
5. http://peacetime-casualties.findthedata.org/l/6315/Robert-Dean-Ashenfelter
6. http://articles.philly.com/1991-04-04/news/25778089_1_training-mission-jersey-air-national-guard-f-16


Related books:

Revision history:

Date/timeContributorUpdates
04-Nov-2008 10:35 ASN archive Added
07-Nov-2013 19:57 Dr. John Smith Updated

Corrections or additions? ... Edit this accident description