Throttle trigger malfunction caused Thunderbird crash

The lost of a F-16 flown by Thunderbird 6 in Colorado Springs this June was determined to have been caused by a throttle trigger that became stuck during flight.

Thunderbirds perform at March Air Reserve Base

Trouble began when Maj. Alex Turner was preparing to land the aircraft, he had put the throttle “into an engine cut-off position. Normally, this full rotation cannot occur unless a throttle trigger is affirmatively actuated or pressed. However, the throttle trigger was “stuck” in the “pressed” position.”

The pilot was unable to restart the engine in time due to the low altitude and he ejected after positioning the jet towards a grass field.

The accident investigation board observed debris accumulation in the throttle trigger, combined with wear on the trigger assembly, according to the press release.

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