"MEA CULPA" - MILITARYCORRUPTION.COM HAD
© 2016 MilitaryCorruption.com
We begin our 17th year online July 4th. And, in all those years, whenever MilitaryCorruption.com has gotten a fact wrong or made a mistake, we have swiftly corrected the error and - when needed - issued a "mea culpa."
The reaction to our story about the Thunderbird F-16 crash of June 2 was mostly positive. However, a large number of our thoughtful readers, reminded us that it is the responsibility of the flight leader not to get into the fix he did - all aircraft running dangerously low on fuel.
Our information and position is this: we are told that officer, Lt. Col. Christopher Hammond, kept his six planes in the air because he had been ordered to do so by a superior officer on the ground.
It is not beyond the realm of possibility that some Obama boot-licking, flag-rank brass hat - and there were several in attendance at the 2016 Air Force Academy graduation ceremonies - issued the order.
WHO BEARS THE RESPONSIBILITY?
One would think common sense would dictate caution, once the word and been received at the Air Force Academy that the President was going to be at least an hour late. It would have been prudent to order the aircraft to come in for a landing and wait on the runway for instructions to return to the sky once the POTUS had arrived for his address.
If it was Hammond who made the call to go into a holding pattern, despite the possibility of running out of gas, then he should be sacked. But, if some general made the blunder and now wants to cover his ass, the flight leader is not to blame.
We quoted a one-star the day after Maj. Turner's bailout, praising him for his exemplary performance, making sure his crippled "running-on-fumes" aircraft headed away from populated areas. In fact, the F-16 skidded intact to a landing in an empty grass field some 10 miles from the AFA campus.
Until all the facts are known, the Air Force ought to hold off on ending these two pilot's military careers. What do you think?
AIR FORCE THUNDERBIRD PILOT AND FLIGHT