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ASN Wikibase Occurrence # 161958
Last updated: 15 January 2022
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Time:14:00 LT
Type:Silhouette image of generic F16 model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different
General Dynamics F-16B
Owner/operator:United States Air Force (USAF)
Registration: 82-1040
MSN: 62-106
Fatalities:Fatalities: 2 / Occupants: 2
Other fatalities:0
Aircraft damage: Written off (damaged beyond repair)
Location:off the north coast of Panamá -   Panama
Phase: En route
Departure airport:Howard AFB, Panama (BLB/MHPO)
Destination airport:Howard AFB, Panama (BLB/MPHO)
F-16B 82-1040 (call sign WOLF 01) of the 179th FIS, 184th FIG, Minnesota Air National Guard, USAF was written off on 19 December 1991 when it crashed into the Caribbean Sea, near Colón Province, off the North coast of Panama, killing both pilots, Lt. Col. Jeff Dennis and S/Sgt Chris Ford. After a 10-day search, the wreckage of the aircraft was never located.

According to the following extract (albeit redacted) from the official USAF report into the incident:

"(1) WOLF 01 was planned as a local area orientation and incentive flight for the RSP. The flight was to terminate at Howard AFB.

(2) WOLF 01 was observed to make a normal take off and to initially proceed on its planned course to the east of Howard AFB. An F-16B was observed by 148th FIG personnel approximately 30 minutes after take-off on the north coast of Panama. Local news broadcasts during the 3-4 day period following the disappearance of the aircraft resulted in several Panamanian locals coming forward to provide information on sitings of aircraft believed to be F-16s.

(3) The aircraft never returned to Howard AFB. A Search and Rescue (SAR) effort was initiated the same afternoon; to date, nothing has been found."

Note on incident timings: According to testimony, 82-1040 would have been the only F-16 flying in Panama on 19 December until the two F-16 took off at 15:35 local to look for 82-1040 at its last reported position.

(1) The aircraft was expected back at Howard AFB at approximately 14:00 local and was declared missing by the DETCO at approximately 1445 local.

(2) Initial response consisted of emergency radio calls to the Mishap Pilot; there was no response.

(3) United States Southern Command was initially notified for the SAR effort at 15:00 local on 19 December. The SAR effort was temporarily halted'on 30 December, 1991, due to clouds over the western part of Panama, and was officially suspended, pending any subsequent information, on 18 February, 1992, having searched that area"



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Revision history:

08-Nov-2013 02:15 Dr. John Smith Added
12-Oct-2017 17:33 TB Updated [Time, Operator, Location, Source, Narrative]

Corrections or additions? ... Edit this accident description