US fighter jet’s tyres burst at Aero India show

February 15th, 2009 - 6:55 pm ICT by IANS  

F-16Bangalore, Feb 15 (IANS) Two rear tyres of the US fighter jet F-16IN Super Viper of global aerospace major Lockheed Martin burst Sunday afternoon while landing after a regular sortie at Aero India international air show, the company said, but added that no one was injured.

“Both the left and right rear tyres burst one after the other due to heat and friction. An indication that the right tyre was going to burst before landing was shown on the flight control panel before landing,” Lockheed’s test pilot Paul Randall told reporters near the runway.

The incident happened on the last day of the five-day biennial mega event being held at the Indian Air Force (IAF) station in Yelahanka, about 20 km from India’s tech hub.

The second or left tyre burst when Randall piloted the strike fighter to a screeching halt at the end of the runway.

“Since I knew the tyre was going to burst on landing, I didn’t apply brakes and allowed the aircraft to wobble till the end of the runway,” Randall clarified.

Within minutes after the incident, three fire engines, one ambulance and one air force police van were rushed to the spot where the aircraft got stranded.

The fighter was towed away from the tarmac to facilitate resumption of the flying display of various aircraft, choppers and aerobatics by IAF’s Surya Kiran sub-sonic trainer jets.

“The tyres were changed within 30 minutes to put the aircraft back into action,” the company said in a statement later.

Indian ace-shooter and Olympics gold medallist Abhinav Bindra was flown in the F-16IN Super Viper by Randall during the air show Thursday.

The Super Viper is in the race for the IAF order, floated to induct 126 medium multi-role combat aircraft (MMRCA) into its depleting fleet and replace its ageing Russian-made MiG-21 fighters in phases.

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