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Mountain Home Lessons Learned

Relative to Aircraft Debris Trajectory Analysis After Ground Impact


The accompanying data and reports on Debris Scatter Patterns deals only with the ballistic trajectories of debris after an in-flight airframe disintegration due to unknown causes.

In each paper/report, the post ground impact debris scatter is ignored due to the complexities of computing the down-range potential of the objects.  It must be assumed that the debris will still have energy after ground impact and if the objects intercepts ground level at a low angle of impact these objects will continue movement until this energy is expended.  Simple put "they will bounce."  When on-board thrust is added to the computations the down-range potential increased exponentially.

The lack of empirical data has, unfortunately, been augmented by an actual demonstration of the low angle impact scenario during the Gunfighter Skies 2003 Airshow, 14 September 03, at Mountain Home AFB, ID.


[Mountain Home News]

"The Thunderbird pilot, Capt. Chris Strickland, safely ejected at the last second before his F-16C Falcon crashed and burned about 500 yards from the airshow crowd."


  Copy of Full story from Mountain Home News


The USAF video of the crash and post-impact airframe disintegration is presented as evidence of the destructive potential of the airframe debris in this scenario.  This writer will leave it the the discernment of the viewer as to the what would have happened if the flight axis that been towards the spectator area as opposed to parallel to the crowd line (please read the USAF Press Release per Capt. Strickland's crowd safety actions before leaving his aircraft):

To Play Ground Based Video Click Here (with audio)

To Play in Cockpit Video Click Here (no audio)

USAF Official Accident Report Press Release

Outstanding Photos by Marc Auth, AUTH Photo, Boise, Idaho


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