The Israeli air force is to change its procedures for performing asymmetric landings with fighters, following an investigation into a fatal accident involving a Lockheed Martin F-16I “Sufa” on 5 October 2016.
After conducting an air strike against Hamas targets in the Gaza Strip, the two-seat F-16I caught fire while on approach to land at Ramon air base in the south of Israel.
The crew decided to eject after they experiencing a loss of control just before landing. The rear crew member was injured and was taken to hospital, but the pilot was killed. The ejection seat and some recorders were sent to the USA for examination, and the investigation found that the pilot had ejected 0.4s after his colleague.
As a result of the mishap, the air force intends to change its procedures related to asymmetric flight towards landing, instructing pilots to drop unused weapons into the sea in order to stabilise their aircraft.
The air force’s test squadron also will formalise procedures for asymmetric approaches.