TFOA = Things Falling off Aircraft, a no shit DOD titled report.
Just got a brief report from a friend of mine at the
show today. Apparently, one of the T-Birds lost a
missile rail over Lake Michigan during the show. So
far as I know, no injuries (there's always a LOT of
boats on the lake during the show). Let's hope it
stays that way.
Item falls from jet, cuts short Thunderbirds show
August 20, 2005
BY CARLA K. JOHNSON Associated Press
An aerial performance by the U.S. Air Force Thunderbirds was cut short Saturday after an object fell from a jet during the Chicago Air and Water Show. Six F-16 planes landed safely at the Gary/Chicago Airport in Gary, Ind., after the afternoon incident, and no one was injured, officials said.
Air Force spokesman Rob Lazaro said he did not know what kind of object had fallen from the plane.
"Each thing that is on that jet is highly technical ... we have about 70 maintainers out here and they're going to do their best to fix that jet and figure out what happened today," Thunderbirds spokeswoman Capt. Angela Johnson said.
U.S. Air Force Thunderbirds pass overhead Saturday after an object fell from one of the jets into Lake Michigan. Note the top of the last plane's wing. (Scott Stewart/Sun-Times)
The incident took place during the first few minutes of the Thunderbirds' portion of the show, Lazaro said. City officials had estimated more than a million spectators would gather on Chicago's lakefront to watch Saturday's performances.
Chicago Police marine units were dispatched to a section of Lake Michigan between Division and North Avenue where authorities believe the item landed, police spokesman John Mirabelli said.
Despite the incident, the city did not plan to cancel the air show's events on Sunday, when officials expected another million people to crowd the city's beaches, said Cindy Gatziolis, spokeswoman for the Mayor's Office of Special Events. Other participants include the U.S Army Golden Knights Parachute Team and the Liquid X Freestyle extreme water show.
The Thunderbirds had not decided Saturday evening whether they would participate on Sunday, Johnson said.
The group, headquartered at Nellis Air Force Base, Nev., performs at approximately 70 air shows a year, according to their Web site. The aerial demonstration team flies the Lockheed Martin F-16 Fighting Falcon, a maneuverable fighter aircraft.
An FAA spokesman said the agency generally does not investigate incidents involving military planes during air shows.
That coulda left a mark!
I thought they detached that stuff for the show planes
Loctite... red Loctite.
gotcha, I was thinking the underwing missle pylons
Again from the Chicago Sun-Times
Midair mishap grounds Thunderbirds
August 22, 2005
BY MARK J. KONKOL Transportation Reporter
Chicago's Air and Water Show ended a few minutes early Sunday
and without the ground-shaking maneuvers of a perennial crowd
pleaser -- the U.S. Air Force Thunderbirds.
The squadron's performance was cut short Saturday when two F-16
Fighting Falcons touched wingtips during a photo-op fly-by over
North Avenue Beach.
Sunday morning, the Thunderbirds scrapped their grand finale
flight and put the rest of their summer tour on hold until Air
Force investigators can determine what went wrong.
"Taking a pause in the season is the prudent thing to do," the
Thunderbirds commander, Lt. Col. Mike Chandler, said. "Every
maneuver we do during our demonstration is designed and executed
with safety as our first priority. An incident like this
requires us to take a deeper look at what happened. . . . Once
we're satisfied we've done that, we'll continue our season."
The midair collision occurred with the F-16s in diamond
formation, speeding along the lakefront at 350 mph.
Last accident in '99
At 3:35 p.m., the right wing and slot planes touched, sending a
four-foot section of missile rail into Lake Michigan. In combat
situations, the missile rail would store ammunition. It landed
in the middle of an aerobatic zone "safety box," away from
boaters and people on the shore.
The two pilots involved had logged at least 1,300 hours each in
the F-16, but they were new to their formation positions this
Right winger Maj. D. Chris Callahan returned to the Thunderbirds
this season after a two-year hiatus. And Maj. Steve Horton is in
his first season flying in the slot position.
After the incident, the two planes safely returned to
Gary/Chicago International Airport. The extent of damage and
exactly what caused the collision were still unclear Sunday.
Saturday's accident was the first for the Thunderbirds since
1999, when two F-16s collided taking off in diamond formation
during a Florida air show.
Chandler said the Thunderbird team was disappointed that the
accident -- which didn't cause any injuries -- was still serious
enough to temporarily keep them from buzzing Chicago airspace on
a sunny afternoon.
Many folks craning their necks skyward Sunday shared the
"I came to see the jets fly in formations because they get
really close. [The Thunderbirds] are the only reason I came down
here. It's totally disappointing," said John Solarte, who made
the four-hour train ride here with eight pals from Downstate
It's unclear if future Thunderbirds shows, including next
weekend's booking in Westfield, Mass., will be canceled. All of
the Thunderbird F-16s were set to fly back to Nellis Air Force
Base in Nevada.
Lakefront still packed
The Thunderbirds' untimely disappearance from the schedule here,
however, didn't put a damper on attendance. City officials said
about 2.2 million people visited the lakefront for the show,
matching last year's attendance mark.
"The show is not about one single act. It's about multiple
civilian and military acts. I think people know that," said Jim
Law, executive director of the Mayor's Office of Special Events.
"A lot of it is for families to spend the day on the lakefront
on a beautiful day."
Or as Ryan Morse of South Elgin said in between bites of a
burger, "It's real nice. You get to see what a plane can really do."
It's just a rail.........
Except for the one that plowed into the ground in September 2003 after initiating a split S on takeoff too low to the ground, of course....
That's one way to heat-treat a runway....
Were they finishing a right simultaneous roll?
If so, good thing the other jet's stabalizer didn't go.
Let's see my total time working on F-16s = about 8 hours (transit and tech school), yet from here that sure looks like a missile rail.
No matter how careful you are, flying high performance aircraft only inches apart is from time to time going to result in some contact. Just like NASCAR race cars stacked 3 and 4 wide at Talladega, eventually someone is going to get into someone else.
Is this what happens when you try to save money by putting airsoft parts on milspec gear?
Glad nobody had to hit silk. But still, oops.
That settles that.
Yeesh. Talk about pucker factor. MY life just flashed before my eyes.
From what I can see it looks to me like the tail got a bit too deep.
Not un-typical. BAs and TBs touch more often than you would think.
Lets see the blue angles top that huh. You want close, i'll give you close.