01 DEC 1982, Hahn AB, West Germany- F-16A 80-0564, Call Sign “Curl 8” of the 313th FTS, 50th Tactical Fighter Wing crashed on landing at Hahn Airbase. The pilot, First Lieutenant Rick French, ejected safely.
“Landing runway 04, crosswind component had many aircraft crabbing in on final. Last plane out on this particular night…Inbound with the GCA, pilot took over visually and hit the runway 22 localizer, stripped the landing gear, lost hydraulics, computer took over and a/c executed burner climb with pilot ejection at apex.” -Eye Witness
The jet hit the approach lights and lost hydraulics. It went into a maximum burner climb, looped and consequently crashed in the woods off base, one and-a-half miles (2.5 Km) to the Northwest.
This happened again in January 1988. We were TDY to Spain and got orders from Hahn to inspect all the Main Landing Gear attach points. They were all fine.
What had happened was that F-16C 84-1300 came in for a night landing and clipped the landing light tower just like Lt. French had in 1982. In this case, the aircraft hit the steep slope of ground on the approach end. It bounced and ground to a halt on the runway. When the Fire department arrived, they found the canopy open and the seat still in the cockpit. After a brief search, the pilot was found in the grass between the runway. In a fetal position, crying.