First Block-50 F-16 fighter in the entire U.S. Air Force reached 10,000 flight hours
35th Fighter Wing Public Affairs has announced on 19 June that a 29-year-old Block-50 F-16 Fighting Falcon, tail number 808 and affectionately known as “BOB,” reached 10,000 flight hours during a sortie flown across Japan.
BOB is the first Block-50 F-16 in the entire U.S. Air Force inventory to hit 10,000 hours after Col. Kristopher W. Struve, the 35th Fighter Wing commander, piloted the aircraft through the history-making flight.
“10,000 flight hours is a testament to American engineering, but more importantly, the blood, sweat and tears of the thousands of maintainers who have turned a wrench on this aircraft since 1990,” praised Struve following the flight. “This jet has been in service for 29 years, and an 18-year-old maintainer launched me today. I am proud of our maintenance team and how they continue to make the mission happen. They work around the clock to ensure our base is ready and able to ensure a free and open Indo-Pacific at any time, whenever called upon.”
Senior Airman Gage Putman, a 14th Aircraft Maintenance Unit dedicated crew chief, may have taken over primary maintenance of the jet on May 4, 2018, but gives credit to the whole AMU and countless others throughout its lifetime for the aircraft’s longevity.
“Everybody has pitched in with their effort to get BOB to where it’s at now,” said Putman. “BOB having so many flight hours is just a reflection of everybody’s work ethic here.”
Aircraft 808 etched its name in history flying in support of Operation Southern Watch in 1999 and during exercises like Pitch Black, Vigilant Ace, Red Flag and, most recently, in support of COPE Tiger. The longevity of this aircraft is thanks to its maintenance team, consisting of one crew chief and several other maintenance professionals, rotating in and out to provide service to the F-16s 24 hours …read more
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