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ASN Wikibase Occurrence # 46965
Last updated: 22 May 2020
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Time:01:09 MST
Type:Silhouette image of generic F16 model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different
General Dynamics F-16A
Owner/operator:421st TFS, 388th TFW, USAF (421st Tactical Fighter Squadron, 388th Tactical Fighter Wing, United States Air Force)
Registration: 79-0316
C/n / msn: 61-101
Fatalities:Fatalities: 0 / Occupants: 1
Other fatalities:0
Aircraft damage: Written off (damaged beyond repair)
Location:Elizabeth, Elbert County, Colorado -   United States of America
Phase: En route
Departure airport:Hill AFB, Utah
Destination airport:Buckly ANGB
At 1.09 MST on 10th April 1981, 36 year old Major John L. Cary Jr., flying an F-16A (79-0316) of the 421st TFS, 388th TFW, callsign "Widow 1" from Hill Air Force Base, Utah on a peacetime surface attack training mission.

After a successful 500 feet low level reaching of the air-burst range, the four-ship flight carried out split operations and rejoined departing north out of Pueblo, Colorado. Cary's main generator light illuminated, and following normal procedural checks, he declared an emergency. He directed his aircraft towards Buckly Air National Guard Base. Within a period of less than five minutes from the original warning light, the Emergency Power Unit failed and the F-16 went out of control.

In clear weather at a height of 1,000 feet and travelling at 200 Knots IAS, flying over farmland in Elizabeth, Elbert County, Colorado, (at approximate co-ordinates 3921′36″N, 10436′0″W), Major Cary ejected himself with the aircraft nose pitched down 90 degrees.

In the micro-seconds that the ejection of the McDonnell Douglas ACES II took, the canopy separated, and from the negative "6g pitchdown" situation, Major Cary sustained a sore neck, a chipped tooth and swollen eyes. Major Cary clearly remembers the sequence as time stretched due to "temporal distortion" that,

"I was able to hold the ejection handle, and when I felt I wasn't hanging in my straps, I ejected. Although it seemed like an eternity, the whole sequence only took 6 seconds. My parachute landing was not stellar, as I lost the sight in my right eye, due to negative g's, until approximately 15-20 minutes after landing."

Several months after Major Cary's ejection another accident, this time fatal, caused a revision in the F-16's electrical system



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Revision history:

04-Nov-2008 10:35 ASN archive Added
03-Oct-2011 16:15 Dr. John Smith Updated [Time, Cn, Operator, Total fatalities, Total occupants, Other fatalities, Location, Country, Phase, Departure airport, Destination airport, Source, Narrative]
28-Oct-2013 23:10 Dr. John Smith Updated [Time, Operator, Location, Source, Narrative]

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