RSAF F-16 crash at Tengah Air Base linked to component malfunction, fleet to resume flights: MINDEF

RSAF F-16 fleet Singapore

RSAF F-16 crash at Tengah Air Base caused by component malfunction

The RSAF F-16 crash at Tengah Air Base on 8 May was caused by component malfunction, said the Ministry of Defence (MINDEF) in a statement on Saturday (18 May).

According to the ministry, the jet’s flight data recorder revealed that its pitch rate gyroscopes had provided inaccurate data to the flight control computer.

F-16 Singapore fleet

Source: Ng Eng Hen on Facebook

This led to the pilot being unable to control the jet during take-off, revealed further investigation by the Republic of Singapore Air Force (RSAF) and F-16 manufacturer Lockheed Martin.

Former RSAF pilot Ong Swee Chuan explained to The Straits Times that pitch rate gyroscopes provide one of the required signals to the flight control computer in order to fly the aircraft.

All F-16 fighter jets, which are widely used worldwide, are equipped with four of these gyroscopes.

Fleet to resume flights

The simultaneous failure of gyroscopes which happened in the 8 May crash is a “very rare” occurrence, said MINDEF.

It was the first time such a malfunction happened in Singapore’s entire F-16 fleet, which has been operating for more than 35 years.

F-16 Singapore 1

Source: Ng Eng Hen on Facebook

Now that the cause of the crash has been identified, MINDEF said the F-16 fleet will resume flying.

However, as a precaution, “each F-16 pitch rate gyroscope will be checked and cleared before resumption of flights.”

F-16 training was suspended following the crash at Tengah Air Base, where the fighter jet went down shortly after take-off. Fortunately, the pilot successfully ejected from the aircraft and did not incur major injuries.

F-16 jets to be replaced in 2030

Despite identifying the cause of the crash, RSAF and Lockheed Martin will conduct further studies to determine what led to the gyroscope malfunction.

Singapore’s F-16 jets have been in service since 1998 and were recently upgraded, but they will ultimately retire after the mid-2030s.

The country has chosen jets from the F-35 family as their replacement, according to a Channel News Asia report.

Also read: RSAF F-16 jet crashes at Tengah Air Base, pilot conscious & receiving medical treatment

RSAF F-16 jet crashes at Tengah Air Base, pilot conscious & receiving medical treatment

Have news you must share? Get in touch with us via email at

Featured image adapted from Ng Eng Hen on Facebook

Drop us your email so you won't miss the latest news.

  • More From Author