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-   -   Dutch F-16 flies into its own bullets, scores self-inflicted hits. Fighter lands OK. (https://www.pprune.org/military-aviation/620345-dutch-f-16-flies-into-its-own-bullets-scores-self-inflicted-hits-fighter-lands-ok.html)

NutLoose 8th Apr 2019 00:06

The classic ground target ricochet
And pressing home the attack past the safety height / distance.... One would say, this time a Dutch F-16, had similar on one of our Jags.


megan 8th Apr 2019 00:35

Winched the pilot of Mirage A3-75 out of a swamp after total loss of thrust following the drop of a Mk. 82 Snakeye on the range, possible ingestion of a bomb fragment. Wreckage not recoverable due nature of swamp.

Rhino power 8th Apr 2019 00:37

Originally Posted by NutLoose (Post 10441972)
And pressing home the attack past the safety height / distance....

Really? How do you know this was the cause?


TBM-Legend 8th Apr 2019 01:04

MIrage 111O at Williamtown "Salt Ash" gunnery range.

NutLoose 8th Apr 2019 02:26

Originally Posted by Rhino power (Post 10441985)
Really? How do you know this was the cause?


I don't. I was saying it is the classic symptoms.

Bob Viking 8th Apr 2019 03:46

Iím with RP on this one. Can you substantiate your claim that ricochets are directly related to late firing?

Itís an easy statement to make but Iím not sure itís one you can prove.

All the ricochets that Iíve heard of were just bad luck. With the Aden cannon in particular you have to get in pretty close to be accurate so itís just a hazard of the job. I canít quote ranges for a Vulcan cannon.


Runaway Gun 8th Apr 2019 05:38

There was an Aermacchi in NZ that suffered similar. Turns out the range sandpit had lots of lead bullets sitting in the target region, and ricochet occurred.
Range Ops were suspended until it was dug up and filtered.

F-16GUY 8th Apr 2019 05:57

Originally Posted by Bob Viking (Post 10442038)
I can’t quote ranges for a Vulcan cannon.

I can. Cease fire at 2200' slant range on low angle strafe (5-15 degrees). This will give you a minimum ground clearance of 75' if shallow and fast (worst case: 5 degrees and 500KTS).

By the way, the marks on the Dutch F-16 looks more like marks from either a faulty gun system (misaligned) or faulty ammo (slow burner that is hit from behind by next round). We have seen those marks quite some time after we started to use hi velocity rounds in our F-16's.

Look at the position of the damage the pictures in this article:

Perfectly aligned with the gun....

So yes, it shot itself, but it was not due to pilot error or some type of warp speed dive.

PS. In our fleet at least, you will be able to find more 3 jets with patches in this region due to similar incidents. I only recall on where the projectile or some of it made it all the way into the cockpit. To out some electrical panels next to the throttle.

Bob Viking 8th Apr 2019 06:06

F16 Guy
I had no idea you would need to get so close with the Vulcan. I assumed that, with a much higher muzzle velocity, you would have increased stand-off.

That cease is actually closer than we use currently in the Hawk. Although we used to get closer on the T1. Not by much though.

Interesting points about the possible malfunction as well. Scary!


Onceapilot 8th Apr 2019 08:05

Does anyone else notice the sensational dumbed-down way that those "defence news" articles treat an interesting military weapon problem? Thanks for the info F-16 Guy, the impact damage does look to be from a tumbling type object. Thanks


SASless 8th Apr 2019 09:01

"Close" is a term of variable definition.

In the day of the Huey Gunship....mud on the windscreen was our definition of "close".

"Close" in those days was common.

Ascend Charlie 8th Apr 2019 10:44

Megan, was that Truckie?

F-16GUY 8th Apr 2019 11:48

Originally Posted by Bob Viking (Post 10442064)
I had no idea you would need to get so close with the Vulcan. I assumed that, with a much higher muzzle velocity, you would have increased stand-off.


The 2200' refers to the minimum allowed. Normally guys will pull of around 3000' on low angle strafe (pink body agains ground reflex). 12000' is the max open fire range, but we learn our guys to wait until closer as the dispersion and thereby the effectiveness of the strafe pass is increased the closer you get to the target.

For steeper angles the min range and pull-off distance increase. for 25 degrees high angle strafe the cease fire slant range is around 5500', and 7000' is the number for 45 degrees high angle strafe pass. However, the increased min range does not mean less precision as the bullets tend to disperse less the steeper the angle. 45 degrees is highly effective with good self protection built in against manpads and small arms fire, but at night on NVG's we don't go steeper than 25 degrees as the workload is to high and we might risk target fixation and ground clobber. At night however the darkness works well for us with regards to being spotted.

I am 100% sure that this incident is a gun/ammo malfunction as the marks on the jet looks very familiar.

Bob Viking 8th Apr 2019 12:06

F16 Guy
So not really a Ďclassic ground target ricochetí at all then?!

Good info thanks. Those ranges are more what I expected to hear.

For comparison the cease fire range in Hawk T1 was 1950í with a minimum of 1650í from 10 degrees. With no HUD!


noprobs 8th Apr 2019 12:10

Way back when I used to do this risky stuff, we experienced quite a few such incidents. A couple of Harrier losses at Holbeach were most likely due to ricochet. One was fatal, suggesting that the pilot took the 30mm ball round. I suffered minor airframe ricochet damage in both Harrier and Jaguar, both only noticed after landing.

A significant factor on the range was the accumulation of dead rounds in the ground around the target. If a fired round hit a lying one, either could jump into the air just before the firing aircraft passed quite low over the target as it recovered. It was very important that the target area was regularly raked clean of old rounds. It was also unfortunate that we often had right-hand range patterns, and the Aden spun the round clockwise, making it possible to collect someone else’s round downwind.

With HE, ricochet was less of a problem, although it was wise to remember if firing at a splash target that the first few rounds cocked in were ball, which skim quite nicely off water. Premature detonation was a risk, and was sometimes visible not far in front of the muzzle. That didn’t feel too bad when you got used to it with the low-mounted guns in the Harrier and Jaguar, but I hope that the F35A’s neat shoulder mounted gun has more reliable ammunition.

F-16GUY 8th Apr 2019 12:17


Nope, most likely slow burner hit from behind by next round.

megan 9th Apr 2019 01:12

Megan, was that Truckie?
Never knew the gentleman but records say PLTOFF J.W. Carr, Dutson range. It was before the days of SAR availability, and the local civil operator provided any required SAR response. Ross Mathieson, who you undoubtedly, know worked for the same operator and happened to be on duty and responded to the Navy Wessex ditching and Roulettes Macchi fatal head on collision.

peterperfect 9th Apr 2019 04:38

Pretty close to the canopy release button too. Might have got a whole lot windier for the pilot ?

Pontius Navigator 9th Apr 2019 07:41

Noprobs covers the dirty target case. Pembrey had large sand backed targets and lots of 30mm and definitely needed regular raking but it only needs a few to cause a ricochet.

Another cause is the soft target that is not as soft as you think.

An aluminum armoured vehicle is termed 'soft' but can still throw rounds off.

cliver029 9th Apr 2019 08:41

Sitting on the OP on the Asahan Range watched a Canberra of another Airforce which after dropping a practice bomb stay straight and level to photo the hit just to see it bounce back and hit the rear of the aircraft.
Not sure what the lasting damage was but I suspect that there were a few words spoken later!

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