For Second Time in a Month, South Dakota Guard F-16 Slides Off Runway

Less than three weeks after a South Dakota Air National Guard F-16 slid off the runway while landing in Sioux Falls, S.D., another F-16 has done the same thing at the same location.

The latest incident happened May 31 at Joe Foss Field, located at the Sioux Falls Regional Airport, at around 2:43 p.m., according to a statement from the 114th Fighter Wing. 

Like the initial May 11 crash, the accident happened at the end of a routine training mission, the 114th FW’s statement said. The second F-16 slid off the end of Runway 33, while the first slid off Runway 15, which covers the same area.

Both pilots are safe, after being “assessed and released by emergency crews,” the statement said.

Local media outlets including the Argus Leader and Dakota News Now posted images of the initial F-16 mishap, with the landing gear crushed, the plane resting on its nose, and the canopy raised. 

The same media outlets posted photos of the second crash, similarly showing the fighter resting on its nose, its landing gear presumably damaged.

The 114th Fighter Wing did not respond to multiple requests for comment from Air Force Magazine before publication.

Reports from Sioux Falls Regional Airport indicate that conditions on May 31 were mostly cloudy with winds of 15 to 18 miles per hour and gusts of up to 28 miles per hour. On May 11, there was light rain with thunder and winds of 14 miles per hour.

This marks the third safety incident involving an Air National Guard F-16 in just over three months. On March 23, an Oklahoma Air National Guard fighter crashed in a woodland area near the Louisiana-Texas border. The pilot in that incident was able to eject.

According to data from the Air Force Safety Center, the F-16 was involved in 13 Class A mishaps and 16 Class B mishaps from fiscal year 2017 to 2021. All told, the fighter was involved in 3.38 Class A and B mishaps every 100,000 flight hours over that time period, exceeding the A-10 but lower than the F-15, F-22, and F-35.

Class A mishaps result in a death or permanent disability, cause more than $2.5 million in damage, or result in the destruction of an aircraft. Class B mishaps cause permanent partial disability; damage valued at between $600,000 and just under $2.5 million; or hospitalize three people, not counting those admitted for observation or administrative purposes who are treated and released.