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Mystery F-16 @ Kfar

Mon Apr 16, 2012 1:35 am

There is and old F-16A sitting out behind the Happy Hooligan hangars that has been there for at least the last 3 years. Nobody, including several members of the 119th (more concerned with recruiting me than answering my questions), seems to know why its there. I have heard two different stories, but I'm not sure which if either is true.

1. In 2005 shortly before the 119th retire the Falcons it came in with some type of malfunction in the fuel system and was written off.

2. It was one of the Falcons that overflew the Pentagon during 9/11 (something they still talk about quite a bit up here) and was therefore preserved. (This seems unlikely however as based on the picture I took of it last fall, you could hardly call it preserved)

Either way does anyone know what this Falcon is doing in Fargo not the desert?

Photo I took of it last fall from the general aviation ramp:

Google Earth images showing location on airport:

[Edited 2012-04-15 18:36:09]
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RE: Mystery F-16 @ Kfar

Mon Apr 16, 2012 2:35 am


Looking on F-16.net, there is only one USAF F-16 with a serial ending in 605, that being 80-0605. The information on F-16.net, however, says:

02 Jul 1996: The aircraft crashed on the runway. It suffered fuselage damage from skidding 3,000 feet down the runway. Repaired for display at Great Falls, then transferred to Fargo/Hector IAP in August 1998 for display marked '82-1012'

There are photos of "82-1012" on display in the air park at FAR (I won't post a link, because it may or may not be deleted) however, the real 82-1012 was sent to AMARC in 2006.

There is another F-16 stored at FAR - 82-0926. The page for that airframe says:

This aircraft was scrambled from Langley AFB, Virginia to give air cover over Washington DC on September 11, 2001.
Nov 2005: Grounded due to a fuel shelf crack that engineers determined without ever even seeing the aircraft.
Dec 2006: Being prepared for display at the museum at the 119th FW at Fargo, North Dakota.

F-16.net has a story about the F-16s that scrambled on September 11, including details about retiring two of them to museums. But to further muddy the waters, airport-data.com has two photos of 82-0926, taken in 2008, restored and on display in the air park at FAR.

As I said, interesting...
KC-135 - Passing gas and taking names!
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RE: Mystery F-16 @ Kfar

Mon Apr 16, 2012 3:15 am

There is as you said a second F-16 at KFAR, being the one in the air park, but being that the air park is closed to civilians, I've never been able to get a closer look at it, or the F-86 that's right next to it for that matter.   One thing to notice ,however, is that in the photo I took of it last summer all of the Hooligan specific markings (red band on top of tail and 'rough rider' logo behind cockpit) have been removed. I think it would be cool to get it on display in the Fargo Air Museum where iit could get some tlc, but that's probable about as likely them offering me a ride in it.  
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RE: Mystery F-16 @ Kfar

Mon Apr 16, 2012 3:08 pm

It is not unusual for a museum to repaint a different tail # on a similar jet to the one they want to display. In this case the real 80-0605 is repainted as 82-1012.

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RE: Mystery F-16 @ Kfar

Mon Apr 16, 2012 9:42 pm

If the real 80-0605 is painted as 82-1012 then what is the true identity of the aircraft painted as 80-0605?

After much reflection, here is what I think happened: 80-0605 crashed, was rebuilt, and was painted as 82-1012 being placed on display in the air park. Then when 82-0926 was written off, being of more historical significance or possibly just in better condition, it two was painted as 82-1012 and replaced 80-0605 in the air park. The real 80-0605 was then reverted to its true registration number but lacking hooligan specific markings (red tail band and 'Rough Rider' logo) and placed in the field where it now sits. Obviously it wasn't sent to AMARC because of the damage it received back in 1996.

I think this is a pretty reasonable explanation. The only thing it doesn't explain is why either aircraft was was repainted, especially 82-0926 as it flew over the Pentagon. I must therefore assume that 82-1012 has some special significance that I'm not aware of. This would, however, explain the discrepancy in the numbers on F-16.net.

[Edited 2012-04-16 14:50:45]

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