F-16 Spinning Out Of Control Video
This summer, while visiting with a Canadian Forces experimental test pilot stationed at Edwards Air Force Base in Southern California, something interesting happened. Actually, it happened the week before, but the whole event became more interesting while we were there. While flying a test F-16 to evaluate a system software upgrade, a test pilot lost control of and appeared to over-stress the test aircraft. The first part was expected. The second part wasn't. But when the engineers got a hold of the test data things became a bit more interesting. AVweb obtained clearance to run footage of the event and our test pilot tour guide, Major Desmond "Duece" Brophy explained what happened. Have a look for yourself.
If you're wondering why test pilots are still flying F16s, it's because hardware and software upgrades demand that the pilots redefine the aircraft's performance envelope. Test pilots are tasked with flying the upgraded aircraft up to and beyond the aircraft's limits and to document the results. They then work with engineers as needed to make the aircraft as safe and predictable as possible for the combat pilots that rely on the fighter to keep them alive.