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Auto-GCAS Saves Unconscious F-16 Pilot—Declassified USAF Footage

Newly declassified video footage from the head-up-display of a U.S. Air Force Arizona Air National Guard F-16 records the dramatic moment when its unconscious pilot is saved from certain death by the aircraft’s Automatic Ground Collision Avoidance System (Auto-GCAS). ( Altro...

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frank1711 5
Here's more about the technology transfer for public use.
CC1229 1
Here's a video of testing that we accomplished at AirVenture in 2015.
jwmson 4
A Sellitto 4
Forget the controversies, over saving planes vs pilots and new or old! This system is cool. Period!
Very cool!
Wonder if it stayed in full afterburner throughout the recovery?
Matt LaMay 1
It would have since the block 40/50 f-16 isn't equipped with autothtottle.
He went from 16k to 5k in matter of seconds. It would had been certain death!!! Curios how the reporting sais that about 4 Planes have been saved so screw the pilot, the planes were saved. LOL!!!
I didn't read it as "screw the pilot," but rather as a reflection of the fact that this is a better system.

In other words, it's possible to save the pilot but not the plane (i.e., ejection), but saving the plane saves *both*.
Agreed!!! I was just been a brat stating a "chicken or egg" thing!!! Your point is valid. Saving the plane saves both and the system is a good one! I'm wondering if it works also if he is heading towards a mountain? I'm just assuming it would!!!
From the 4th paragraph of the referenced article:

"Auto-GCAS continuously compares a prediction of the aircraft’s trajectory against a terrain profile generated from onboard terrain elevation data."

... so, yes, it seems like it would.
Joao Ponces -1
I'm sorry, but this is not so new! Around the 1930's the Junkers Stuka German dive bombers had an automatic system of recovery after the dives, as most of the Pilots would faint because of the extreme Gs of acceleration!
I don't have any idea how it was done, technically...
Not quite the same. The Ju87 pilot was in control during the dive itself. When the pilot released the bomb, the automatic dive brake system kicked in and reconfigured for a climb away from the ground at 6Gs.

If the pilot was incapacitated before the bomb release, there was nothing that would automatically do a recovery, which is the whole point of the auto-GCAS system.

It was a nifty (if somewhat problematic) mechanical system for its day, but really nothing like the new autopilots.
frank1711 0
(Duplicate Squawk Submitted)

NASA collision avoidance system saves unconscious F-16 Pilot

Two pilots who credit a NASA-supported technology with saving one of their lives during a May training exercise mishap paid a visit to NASA Armstrong Flight Research Center in Edwards, California, to meet with some of the very engineers responsible for its development. A United States Air Force Major and F-16 flight instructor, and a foreign Air Force pilot student, spent an afternoon at the NASA center, as guests during the center's 2016 NASA Honor Awards.


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