Engine Failure Cause of June F-16 Fighter Crash

  • Published
  • By Wisconsin National Guard
The U.S. Air Force Air Combat Command Accident Investigation Board released Tuesday that engine failure caused a Wisconsin Air National Guard fighter jet to crash in Adams County in early June.

An F-16 assigned to the Wisconsin Air National Guard's 115th Fighter Wing in Madison crashed into an unoccupied vacation home June 7 in New Chester, Wis.

The incident occurred near the completion of a training flight. When the pilot realized there was an engine failure and he wouldn't be able to re-start the engine, he guided the malfunctioning fighter jet away from any populated areas and safely ejected from the disabled aircraft.

The pilot, Lt. Col. Glen Messner, credited his many hours of pilot training as the key reason the incident wasn't any worse than it was. "It was automatic. I never had time to be scared, to freeze up," he said. "Once I pulled the ejection seat handle, I went right into my Life Support training."

Messner, 45, enlisted in the Wisconsin Air National Guard in 1986 and completed pilot training in 1989. Prior to flying the F-16 Falcon, Messner flew the A-10. Messner has more than 3,100 flying hours in the F-16.

The 115th Fighter Wing has flown F-16 fighter jets since 1993 and has an excellent safety record. The June crash is the first accident for the 115th Fighter Wing since 1995.
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