Rocket accidentally fired from Air Force jet in Arizona desert

Oxman

Well-Known Member
Now I know I had more rockets than this when I took off. Hmmmm.... :ooh: I was wondering what that button did.


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A rocket was accidentally fired from an Air Force jet during a training mission outside Tucson, Ariz. on Thursday, landing in the desert.
It was sent from an A-10C fighter jet, landing approximately 60 miles northeast of Tuscon in the Jackal Military Operations area, the Davis-Monthan Air Force Base said in a statement Thursday

“During a routine training mission, an A-10C Thunderbolt II assigned to the 354th Fighter Squadron from the 355th Wing unintentionally released a single M-156 rocket today at approximately 10:40 a.m.,” the Air Force Base said.
The part of the desert where the rocket landed is not designated for missile release, the Air Force Base said.

No injuries or damage were reported, but the incident is under investigation.
 

Low_Level_Hell

Well-Known Member
An event like this is not that uncommon, especially if the misfire occurs in the middle of no where.

I know several who have had the dreaded "loud laser." The way the Apache is designed the gunner can easily release unintentional ordnance if they mix up their left and right trigger fingers. The laser designator and the weapons release triggers are essentially mirror images of each other.
 

MikeD

Administrator
Staff member
An event like this is not that uncommon, especially if the misfire occurs in the middle of no where.

I know several who have had the dreaded "loud laser." The way the Apache is designed the gunner can easily release unintentional ordnance if they mix up their left and right trigger fingers. The laser designator and the weapons release triggers are essentially mirror images of each other.
Problem is, in a MOA, you dont generally have live free fall or forward firing ordnance onboard (except for gun), you only carry those when going to a range that you can expend them on. And when carrying them anywhere that isn’t on range, there are switchology restrictions in the cockpit to ensure that no ordnance can be released, intentionally or accidentally.
 

Nark

Sheepdog

Found this little guy in a far away land.

Lots of live ordnance was dropped in the vicinity too.... ;)
 

Flyinthrew

Well-Known Member
It doesn’t happen very often at all, but there’s always a very tiny moment of “welp, see what happens...” when you go Master Arm on with forward firing ordnance onboard. All it takes is some stray voltage and there it goes. It’s the same basic reason that rocket pods and guns aren’t armed on the ground until you’re at a specific place facing a specific heading.


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MikeD

Administrator
Staff member
It doesn’t happen very often at all, but there’s always a very tiny moment of “welp, see what happens...” when you go Master Arm on with forward firing ordnance onboard. All it takes is some stray voltage and there it goes. It’s the same basic reason that rocket pods and guns aren’t armed on the ground until you’re at a specific place facing a specific heading.
Which is my question. With any ordnance, practice/inert or live, that can release from the aircraft that happens to be being carried while in a MOA, there shouldn’t have been a Master Arm switched to on, a station selected, a fuzing selected (in this case there wouldn’t be), or any combo of the above, at any time while there. Am curious what they were doing there with ordnance onboard (gun excepted) in the first place.
 

deadstick

Well-Known Member
An event like this is not that uncommon, especially if the misfire occurs in the middle of no where.

I know several who have had the dreaded "loud laser." The way the Apache is designed the gunner can easily release unintentional ordnance if they mix up their left and right trigger fingers. The laser designator and the weapons release triggers are essentially mirror images of each other.
Maybe the front-seaters need to train with the panties over the other eye?
 

knot4u

Repeat Offender
Am I correct in assuming that the difference between a rocket and a missile is a rocket is literally point and shoot and a missile has some sort of onboard guidance?
 

gotWXdagain

Highly Visible Member
Is this really that big of a deal? Assuming this wasn't fired off in a populated area......
Is a big deal because people live under MOAs. There are farms, homes, schools, towns. There is no way to ensure that ordinance of any kind fired won’t hurt or kill someone, so yes, it is a big deal.
 

5Right_5Left

Well-Known Member
Which is my question. With any ordnance, practice/inert or live, that can release from the aircraft that happens to be being carried while in a MOA, there shouldn’t have been a Master Arm switched to on, a station selected, a fuzing selected (in this case there wouldn’t be), or any combo of the above, at any time while there. Am curious what they were doing there with ordnance onboard (gun excepted) in the first place.
Down at FSI Tucson this past week, our instructor is a retired A-10 pilot and we asked him about it. He said the way the ranges work out there sometimes is they're only granted a small window to actually go in and drop ordnance. The rest of the time they go do something else in the MOAs. So it's possible they were doing exercises in the MOA while waiting for their slot in the restricted area to open up.
 

Flyinthrew

Well-Known Member
Is this really that big of a deal? Assuming this wasn't fired off in a populated area......
We literally treat them the same as an aircraft mishap. Is taxiing your jet into another jet a big deal? They’re handled the same way.

FWIW, I’d say firing forward firing ordnance in the MOA there is actually pretty hard to do. The only plausible thing I can really come up with is they were flying the IR239 under the MOA going through fence checks (getting ready to fight. I don’t know what the AF calls it) in anticipation of going into the range and some stray voltage hoses it off.


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MikeD

Administrator
Staff member
Down at FSI Tucson this past week, our instructor is a retired A-10 pilot and we asked him about it. He said the way the ranges work out there sometimes is they're only granted a small window to actually go in and drop ordnance. The rest of the time they go do something else in the MOAs. So it's possible they were doing exercises in the MOA while waiting for their slot in the restricted area to open up.
Generally, we’d spend that time close to the BMGR, hanging around in the Sells MOA or the LATN area, if you’re awaiting a range time and you launched early or such. Unlikely that we’d go to the Outlaw/Jackal to do that, which is pretty distant in the opposite direction. And then even so, there are switchology restrictions once in the MOA of what you can select when you happen to have any live ordnance aboard.
 

MikeD

Administrator
Staff member
We literally treat them the same as an aircraft mishap. Is taxiing your jet into another jet a big deal? They’re handled the same way.

FWIW, I’d say firing forward firing ordnance in the MOA there is actually pretty hard to do. The only plausible thing I can really come up with is they were flying the IR239 under the MOA going through fence checks (getting ready to fight. I don’t know what the AF calls it) in anticipation of going into the range and some stray voltage hoses it off.
For us, a situation like that, the FENCE-in would take place, but due to switchology restrictions, we wouldn’t select any stations, any master arm, or any fuzing until within the Restricted Area boundary, just for this reason. You can do all other parts of the FENCE though outside of there, as applicable.
 
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