Dutch F-16 Fighter Plane Allegedly Shoots Itself, Pilot Makes Emergency Landing

Back in January, an F-16 fighter plane taking part in an aerial exercise on the Vliehors training ground on the Dutch island of Vlieland had to double back and make an emergency landing at the Leeuwarden Air Base. The emergency was caused by damage sustained by the aircraft during the exercise.
F-16 damaged by own cannon 1 photo
Photo: NL Nieuws via Twitter
According to Dutch publication NOS, the fighter jet was part of a pair of F-16s on a target practice exercise on the said training ground when, for unknown reasons, the fighter jet got damaged. Now, a few months after the incident, the first incredible details of the investigation have surfaced.

The same source says investigators with the Security Inspectorate found that one of the onboard cannons of the F-16 appears to have fired itself, and through some inexplicable mechanics the resulting bullet manages to hit the plane it was fired from.

NOS does not give any details on the physics of the incident, and other local media report that the investigators themselves are not sure as for how this was possible.

A photo released and published by NL Nieuws shows what appears to be shell damage on the body of the airplane. Fragments of ammunition are also said to have made it in the aircraft’s engine.

The investigation into the matter is still underway, but there’s no telling when its results will become available.

The first documented case of a jet airplane shooting itself down with its own bullets is that of the American F-11 Tiger. On September 21, 1956, the airplane was conducting a test flight off the coast of New York state. Its pilot, Tom Attridge, fired two bursts of the Colt Mk.12 20 mm cannons, then dived the plane and somehow managed to outspeed his own bullets. The plane was severely damaged, and so was the pilot, but he managed to survive.
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About the author: Daniel Patrascu
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Daniel loves writing (or so he claims), and he uses this skill to offer readers a "behind the scenes" look at the automotive industry. He also enjoys talking about space exploration and robots, because in his view the only way forward for humanity is away from this planet, in metal bodies.
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