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F-15 LOSES WING IN MID-AIR COLLISION - LANDS SAFELY!

This is a story about an Israeli F-15 that lost its wing - and still
managed to stay airborne!...(pics below)...

"On May 1st. 1983, a simulated dogfight training took place between two
F-15D's and four A-4N Skyhawks over the skies of the Negev. The F-15D
(# 957, nicknamed 'Markia Shchakim', 5 killmarks) was used for the conversion
of a new pilot in the squadron. Here is the description of the event as
described in "Pressure suit":

At some point I collided with one of the Skyhawks, at first I didn't
realize it. I felt a big strike, and I thought we passed through the jet
stream of one of the other aircraft. Before I could react, I saw the big
fire ball created by the explosion of the Skyhawk. The radio started to
deliver calls saying that the Skyhawk pilot has ejected, and I understood
that the fire ball was the skyhawk, that exploded, and the pilot was
ejected automatically.

There was a tremendous fuel stream going out of the wing, and I understood
it was badly damaged. The aircraft flew without control in a strange
spiral. I re-connected the electric control to the control surfaces, and
slowly gained control on the aircraft until I was straight and level again.
It was clear to me that I had to eject. When I gained control I said :
"Hey, wait, don't eject yet!". No warning light was on and the navigation
computer worked as usual; I just needed a warning light in my panel to
indicate that I missed a wing..." The instructor ordered me to eject.
The wing is a fuel tank, and the fuel indicator showed 0.000 so I assumed
that the jet stream sucked all the fuel out of the other tanks. However, I
remembered that the valves operate only in one direction, so that I might
have enough fuel to get to the nearest airfield and land.

I worked like a machine, wasn't scared and didn't worry. All I knew was
as long as the sucker flies, I'm gonna stay inside. I started to decrease
the airspeed, but at that point one wing was not enough. So I went into a
spin down and to the right. A second before I decided to eject, I pushed
the throttle and lit the afterburner. I gained speed and thus got control
of the aircraft again. Next thing I did was lowering the arresting hook.
A few seconds later I touched the runway at 260 knots, about twice the
recommended speed, and called the tower to erect the emergency recovery
net. The hook was torn away from the fuselage because of the high speed,
but I managed to stop 10 meters before the net.

I turned back to shake the hand of my instructor, who urged me to eject,
and then I saw it for the first time - no wing !!!

The IAF (Israeli Air Force) contacted McDonnel Douglas and asked for
information about possibility to land an F-15 with one wing . MD replied
that this is aerodynamically impossible, as confirmed by computer
simulations... Then they received the photo....

After two months the same F-15 got a new wing and returned to action.
McDonnel Douglas attributes the saving of this aircraft to the amount of
lift generated by the engine intake/body and "A Hell of a good Pilot"."

Submitted by Rusty C.
 

F-15 LOSES WING IN MID-AIR COLLISION - LANDS SAFELY!






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