Cockpit fogging caused an F-16 pilot to overshoot the runway on landing at an air show last July, announced Air Combat Command on Tuesday. The Alabama Air National Guard aircraft was on final approach to Wittman Regional Airport south of Oshkosh, Wisconsin, when the air conditioning system malfunctioned, according to the ACC accident investigation board’s report. The pilot, assigned to the 100th Fighter Squadron, followed proper defogging procedures, but was unable to clear the windscreen, determined the investigators. Unable to judge the aircraft’s angle of attack, the pilot touched down without deploying the airbrakes, leaving inadequate stopping distance on rollout. To ensure the crowd’s safety, the pilot elected to stay with the aircraft, overrunning the 8,000-foot runway by 300 feet, states the report. Though neither pilot nor bystanders were injured, damage to the F-16C totaled an estimated $5.4 million, according to the report. (AIB report; caution, large-sized file.)
The U.S. supports “a stronger and more capable” European defense, Defense Secretary Lloyd J. Austin III said during an Oct. 22 press conference in Brussels—but that defense should not duplicate the functions and capabilities of the NATO alliance.