An Israeli Air Force (IAF) F-15I Ra’am fighter bomber belonging to the 69th “Hammers” squadron was forced to make an emergency landing at a Negev base with just the left wheel of the main wheel and the nose wheel on Dec. 3, 2021 after its crew noticed a problem with the right wheel’s landing mechanism.
The F-15I crew, two experienced reserve pilots, were taking part in a routine training flight when they noticed that they were unable to lower the right wheel for landing.
According to The Jerusalem Post, it was the first time such a malfunction occurred in an F-15 – and it is unclear what caused it.
While the crew were slightly injured, the damaged F-15I was sent for a further maintenance inspection.
Drills on F-15s have been paused until further notice, barring operational use, IAF Commander Maj.-Gen. Amikam Norkin announced. The service is investigating the incident.
IAF training exercises on the type were suspended in late November after another F-15 almost crashed.
According to the military, the incident occurred during a training exercise on dealing with air and ground threats, “when the pilot turned his attention to the aircraft’s screen and did not notice that he had lost height and was heading into the ground.”
The jet’s navigator realized what was happening and pulled the jet out of its dive, averting disaster.
“Due to the quick and professional identification, both of them emerged from the danger unscathed,” the military said in a statement.
The two seat F-15I, christened Ra’am (Thunder) in Israel, like the US Air Force’s F-15E Strike Eagle, is dual-role fighter that combines long-range interdiction with the Eagle’s air superiority capabilities, GlobalSecurity.org reports.
The IAF received the first two of 25 F-15I aircraft in January 1998. The 25 F-15Is operational since 1999 [and the 100 F-16Is] were procured first and foremost to deal with the Iranian threat.
Photo credit: Amit Agronov / IDF Spokesperson‘s Unit via Wikipedia
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