The Story of PAF Pilot who managed to land a damaged F-16 fighter jet

In 2014 Pakistan launched  Operation Zarb-e-Azb a joint military offensive conducted by the Pakistan Armed Forces against various militant groups, including the Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP), the Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan, the East Turkestan Islamic Movement, Lashkar-e-Jhangvi, al-Qaeda, Jundallah and the Haqqani network.

On 15 June 2014, the first phase of the operation began with intensified airstrikes in North Waziristan, targeting militant training facilities, hideouts, and other infrastructure

On 22nd July 2014 at 8 pm two Pakistan Air Force pilots Group Captain Azman Khaleel and Squadron Leader Asim took off in F-16B (Serial# 82602) from PAF Base Mushaf to conduct an airstrike on terrorist Hideout.

 

 GoPro Video of Group Captain Azman Khaleel Flying F-16

After reaching the target location pilot dropped a Joint Direct Attack Munition(JDAM) bomb on Terrorist Hideout.

Soon after the launched due to some technical issue the bomb immediately exploded in the air and caused extensive damage to the Fighter jet

F-16 Fighter Jet went out of control into a spin manoeuvre and was quickly descending toward the ground. Group Captain Azman Khaleel who was on the backseat didn’t panicked and took the control of Fighter jet from Sq Ldr Asim. Skilled pilot Immediately took corrective action and was able to take fighter jet out of the uncontrolled spin manoeuvre

Squadron Leader Azman Khalil of the Pakistani air force, left, goes over flight information with Air Force Capt. Andy Wittke, an instructor pilot at the Arizona Air National Guard's 162nd Fighter Wing, before a training mission April 27,2010. U.S. Air Force photo by Master Sgt. Dave Neve
Squadron Leader Azman Khalil of the Pakistani air force left goes overflight information with Air Force Capt. Andy Wittke, an instructor pilot at the Arizona Air National Guard’s 162nd Fighter Wing, before a training mission April 27, 2010. U.S. Air Force photo by Master Sgt. Dave Neve

After taking control he realized that due to Hydraulic and Fuel leakage its impossible fly fighter jet back to PAF Base Mushaf. So he turned fighter jet toward nearest Airfield and requested PAF Base M.M. Alam for an emergency landing

After reaching PAF Base M.M. Alam he tried to land F-16 fighter but during landing, he realized that fighter Jet throttle system is failed and F-16 is not slowing down.

To counter this situation he took off again and contacted Air traffic controller. He informed ATC about the whole situation and requested them to arrange Aircraft arresting barriers

After circling Airfield he made a second attempted to land damaged F-16. He was able to successfully land the F-16 at the Starting of Runway. After that F-16 started moving toward the barrier and with the help of an Aircraft arresting barrier pilot was able to stop fighter jet

The pilot ordered the maintenance crew and technician to turn off F-16 engine from outside.

The Story of PAF Pilot who managed to land a damaged F-16 fighter jet

For this action in aerial combat, he was awarded the Tamgha-I-Basalat by Pakistan. Here is a video of Group Captain Azman Khaleel receiving Tamgha-I-Basalat and sharing his experience. Unfortuenly Video is in Urdu

Later PAF engineers locally reworked, refitted and repaired damaged F-16 and nowadays F-16B (Serial# 82602) flying. Here is an Image of F-16

Damaged PAF F-16 repaired

Group Captain Azman Khaleel has also piloted Saudi Arabian Air Force F-15 Fighter Jet

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