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Lt. Col. Bradford P. Young 60th Fighter Squadron, 33rd Fighter Wing Eglin AFB, Fla.

Lt. Col. Young was scheduled to fly on a Night Vision Goggle instructional sortie as number two of a five-ship of F-15Cs. On takeoff roll during a 20-second instrument trail departure and approaching 140 knots, Col. Young heard a violent bang from the left side of the aircraft. Col. Young's actions over the next few seconds prevented serious damage to both him and the aircraft. Passing through 145 knots, Col. Young performed a high-speed abort and simultaneously announced his intentions on the radio, preventing the aircraft behind him from continuing their takeoff roll. Col. Young perceived the intensity of the "bang" as a catastrophic failure and he initially applied the Dash-1 guidance for the abort procedure, with a computed maximum abort speed of 151 knots. He simultaneously retarded the throttles to idle, applied brakes, and lowered the tail hook for a potential departure-end cable engagement. After initiating brake actuation, the aircraft yawed to the right, and he ceased braking action to analyze the situation. As the aircraft slowed down, and with no further brake actuation, the jet yawed to the left. At this moment, he realized that he had blown the left main tire and must keep the aircraft on the pavement to prevent serious damage. During the nighttime takeoff roll, Col. Young successfully kept the aircraft on the runway using a combination of rudder and nose-wheel steering inputs and the aircraft came to rest with 1,000' of runway remaining, 500' short of the departure-end cable. He successfully shut down the engines after fire-fighting equipment was in place and egressed the aircraft with no injuries. Col. Young's rapid decision-making, in-depth system knowledge and deft demeanor averted catastrophic damage to the aircraft.
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Article Details
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Publication:Combat Edge
Article Type:Brief Article
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Jun 1, 2001

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