Singapore’s F-16 Crash Caused by Gyroscope Malfunction

Investigations reveal that simultaneous pitch rate gyroscope malfunctions led to the loss of control during take-off,
  • Defensemirror.com bureau
  • 04:23 AM, May 18, 2024
  • 740
Singapore’s F-16 Crash Caused by Gyroscope Malfunction
RSAF F-16 fighter @MINDEF

The Republic of Singapore Air Force (RSAF) has determined that the F-16 crash on May 8th was due to simultaneous failures of the aircraft's pitch rate gyroscopes.

In an official statement today, the Air Force confirmed the crash was caused by erroneous inputs from the aircraft's pitch rate gyroscopes to the flight control computer, preventing the pilot from controlling the plane during take-off. All F-16 fighter jets are equipped with four pitch rate gyroscopes, and a simultaneous failure of these gyroscopes is an extremely rare event. Consequently, Lockheed Martin does not mandate routine maintenance for these components in the F-16.

This incident marks the first simultaneous gyroscope malfunction in the RSAF’s F-16 fleet, which has been operational for over 35 years. As a result, the RSAF, in collaboration with Lockheed Martin, will conduct further studies to determine the specific causes behind this malfunction.

Following the identification of the crash's cause, the RSAF will resume flights for its F-16 fleet. However, as a precautionary measure, each F-16's pitch rate gyroscope will be inspected and cleared before flights recommence.

The crash, which saw the aircraft come down shortly after take-off, involved the pilot successfully ejecting and escaping serious injury. This was the first F-16 crash for the RSAF in two decades, the last being a fatal incident in May 2004 during a night training mission in Arizona, USA.

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