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Sunday, 8 February 2015

Video : YF-16 Flight Zero

Forwarded message - From: Louis Nève

From: Jean schoefs

Subject: YF-16 Flight Zero

Interestingly, the real first flight of the YF-16 inadvertently occurred on Sunday, 20 January 1974 during what was supposed to be a high-speed taxi test. As the aircraft accelerated rapidly down the runway, Oestricher raised the nose slightly and applied aileron control to check lateral response. To the pilot's surprise, the aircraft entered a roll oscillation with amplitudes so high that the left wing and right stabilator alternately struck the surface of the runway.
As phil  Oestricher desperately fought to maintain control of his wild steed, the situation became increasingly dire as the YF-16 began to veer to the left. Realizing that going into the weeds at high speed was a prescription for disaster, the test pilot quickly elected to jam the throttle forward and attempt to get the YF-16 into the air. The outcome of this decision was not immediately obvious as Oestricher continued to struggle for control while waiting for his airspeed to increase to the point that there was lift sufficient for flight.
YF-16 no. 1 is spotted landing at the end of the inadvertant flight following the high speed taxi trials. Note the bent up outboard trailing edge of the right horizontal tail. It scraped the runway during the severe roll oscillations.