F-15 Break-up Animation

This is a computer animation put together by the Accident Investigation Team from Boeing following the crash of an F-15 Eagle in Missouri last November. The investigation led to nine other aircraft being discovered with the same fatal flaw in them that brought down this aircraft. Turned out to be a support beam that was simply milled too thin during manufacturing. Notice that the cockpit is already starting to wiggle before he is out of the turn.

Also notice the landing gear drop after the break-up. Turns out that it is controlled by a cable running to the cockpit that gets pulled when the pilot sets the gear down. As the cockpit was being ripped loose that cable was tugged, resulting in the gear lowering. I can imagine was a suprise to the investigators on the ground.

“You said this thing broke up at 15,000 feet right?”

“Yeah, that’s the word.”

“Why the heck would be have his gear down at that height?”

The video can be downloaded through this link.

I also am linking here to a second animation of the crash.  This one is a 3D wires mesh graphic that shows the interaction of the aircraft that crashed and his wingman at the time.  Also overlayed with the images is the radio communication from his wingman.  You can here him telling the other two aircraft that were in the air, he refers to them as Mike 1 and Mike 2 to stay away.  The four aircraft were up paired off doing one-on-one dogfighting practice when the breakup occurred.

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2 Responses to “F-15 Break-up Animation”


  1. 1 jetdrvr March 22, 2008 at 3:32 am

    The link didn’t work for me…

  2. 2 thebaldmonkey March 22, 2008 at 1:20 pm

    Try right clicking on the link and selecting “Save As…” and saving the file. The link is straight to the .wmv file so it will download and play when you click it.


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