28 April 2008

Analysis of an In-flight Breakup of an F-15C over Missouri

On 2 November 2007, an F-15C aircraft from the Missouri Air National Guard experienced an in-flight breakup during an training mission. The pilot, Major Steven Stillwell, successfully ejected, but sustained injuries to his left arm and shoulder.

The investigation revealed that the accident aircraft had a structural failure in its upper right longeron, one of four critical support structures for the aircraft. Fatigue cracks in the longeron led to a structural failure of the longeron and the subsequent catastrophic breakup.

After the accident, more than 600 USAF F-15s were grounded and inspected. At least nine other F-15 aircraft were found to have similar fatigue cracks. some F-15s were also removed from service because of the costs of repairing these structural problems.

The video that was produced by Glenn Pew shows a reconstruction of the event, using computer animation based on data from the flight.

Reconstruction of the In-flight Breakup

Executive Summary of the USAF Accident Report


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