Accident General Dynamics F-16A ADF 81-0684,
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ASN Wikibase Occurrence # 46459
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Date:Tuesday 7 January 1997
Time:18:18 CST
Type:Silhouette image of generic F16 model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different    
General Dynamics F-16A ADF
Owner/operator:179th FSqn / 148th FGp Minnesota ANG USAF
Registration: 81-0684
MSN: 61-365
Fatalities:Fatalities: 1 / Occupants: 1
Aircraft damage: Destroyed
Location:Whyte, north of Greenwood Lake, Lake County, MN -   United States of America
Phase: En route
Departure airport:Duluth International Airport (DLH/KDLH)
Destination airport:Duluth International Airport (DLH/KDLH)
Confidence Rating: Information is only available from news, social media or unofficial sources
F-16A 81-0684 (call sign WOLF 3) of the 179th FS, 148th FG, Minnesota Air National Guard, USAF, was written off on 7 January 1987 when it crashed 47 miles north of its home base in Duluth, Minnesota, while practising night intercepts. The aircraft went down in a remote dense woodland area at Whyte, near Greenwood Lake. The pilot, Major Pete Woodbury, did not eject, and was killed.

According to the following extract from the summary of the official USAF report into the incident:

"On 7 Jan 97, Maj Peter Woodbury was scheduled as number three in a four-ship night intercept mission in the Snoopy West Military Operating Area (MOA). The flight.was filed with the call sign Wolf. Other flight members included Wolf 1 - Lt Col Mark Johnson, Wolf 2 - Major John Spencer, and Wolf 4 - Captain Scott Anderson.

Wolf flight departed Duluth International Airport (IAP), Minnesota, at 1742 CST. Minneapolis Center delayed the-release of the airspace, causing the flight to take off twelve minutes later than planned. Wolf flight flew a single-ship radar trail departure to the MOA.

Wolf 1 split the flight when inside the airspace to place Wolf 3 element (Wolf 3 and 4) in the east as targets. Wolf 1 element (Wolf 1 and 2) established a combat air patrol (CAP) in the west portion of the airspace using the altitude block of 10,000-14,000 feet. Wolf 1 element completed two uneventful intercepts on the Wolf 3 element.

Then the roles were reversed to make Wolf 3 element the fighters in the west in the 10,000-14,000 foot block. Wolf 1 element became the targets in the east in the 6,000 - 9,000 foot block. Wolf 3 element established a counter-rotating orbit centred on the 0850 radial from the bull's-eye point at Eveleth.

Wolf 3 element deployed from the CAP point to intercept Wolf 1 in the south-east portion of the MOA and Wolf 2 in the north-east. Wolf 4 was in position to engage the targets first, therefore he became the tactical lead with Wolf 3 in trail about ten miles. Wolf 4 followed by Wolf 3 successfully engaged both targets in spite of a wide azimuth separation.

Kills were called by Wolf 4 and Wolf 3 indicating their success in simulating the missile launches. Wolf 3 element disengaged from the targets and headed west to return to the CAP point. After a fuel check with Wolf 1, who had reached the eastern edge of the area, the second intercept began.

This time Wolf 3 deployed first from the CAP point with Wolf 4 ten to fifteen miles in trail. Wolf 3 obtained an initial radar lock on Wolf 2 who was flying easterly in the northern portion of the MOA. Because of an earlier call from Wolf 1 indicating he was beginning his target run, Wolf 3 requested "bogey dope" for more information regarding Wolf 1's position. Wolf 3 began a turn to the south-east to acquire the other target

Wolf 1 acknowledged with a bogey dope call of "094 at 53". Wolf 3 momentarily selected ACM override on the dogfight switch, possibly attempting an automatic radar lock-on to Wolf 1, the south-east target.

Wolf 1 voluntarily gave a bogey dope call of "095 at 52" fifteen seconds after the first. Wolf 3 did not acknowledge these calls or obtain a radar lock-on. Twenty-one seconds later Wolf 3 impacted the ground.

The impact point was near Greenwood Lake north of the town of Whyte, MN, in a snow-covered wooded area inside the Finland State Forest, which is maintained by St. Louis county. Coordinates of the impact site are 47'32.73" N, and 91'36.10" W. Time of impact was 1818 hours CST.

The MA, with airspeed in excess of 550 knots, cratered the snow and underlying soil to a depth of approximately ten feet. Flight control. elements recovered at the scene indicate that the aircraft was under a load of 4 to 6 G's at impact. Wreckage ricocheted out of the impact crater in a fan-shaped area of at least 525 feet for the majority of the pieces. The center section of the engine was recovered 250 feet from the impact crater on a bearing of 2200, defining the aircraft flight path at impact. Post impact fire caused by the ignition of JP-8 fuel further damaged or consumed the wreckage until it was extinguished by the snow covered environment. There was no evidence of the ejection system having been initiated."


1. [Scramble 214]


F-16 81-0684 of USAF 347th TFW, 68th TFS, at Nellis AFB, Nevada in 1990 The Aviation Photo Company: GD F-16 Fighting Falcon &emdash; USAF 347 TFW 68 TFS GD F-16A 81-0684/MY at Nellis AFB (1990)

Revision history:

04-Nov-2008 10:35 ASN archive Added
07-Jan-2012 13:10 harro Updated [Total fatalities, Total occupants, Location, Country, Phase, Source, Narrative]
15-Nov-2013 20:50 Dr. John Smith Updated [Time, Operator, Other fatalities, Location, Departure airport, Destination airport, Source, Embed code, Narrative]
15-Nov-2013 20:58 Dr. John Smith Updated [Location, Source, Narrative]
21-Jul-2019 19:48 Anon. Updated [Location]
12-Feb-2020 15:36 Iwosh Updated [Operator, Location, Operator]
11-Feb-2022 08:52 Anon. Updated [Location]

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