Air Force video: F-16 pilot saved by automatic collision avoidance system


Video obtained by Aviation Week of an F-16’s heads-up display during a near-crash in training—one prevented by an automatic collision avoidance system.

A declassified Air Force video from May of this year shows the moments after an Arizona Air National Guard pilot on a training flight passed out during a high-speed turn. He was rendered unconscious by forces that exceeded eight times the Earth’s gravity. His F-16 fighter dove at a 55 degree angle toward the ground at 587 knots (about 675 miles per hour) with full afterburner engaged.

But the video has a happy ending.

While an instructor in another plane shouted for him to recover, the aircraft’s Automatic Ground Collision Avoidance System (Auto-GCAS) kicked in. The system pulled the plane back up and into level flight. The F-16 recovered itself from the dive in under 30 seconds.

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