181 TFG (ANG)
Hulman Field, IN
“On 1 November 1977, Major John M. Egan was flying as an instructor pilot in the front cockpit of an F-1 00 on a routine instrument training mission. Engine run-up was uneventful with all engine instruments indicating normally.
After takeoff, as the aircraft passed 1,200′ AGL, Major Egan heard a loud explosion accompanied by a sudden loss of thrust. He terminated afterburner and checked all engine instruments but could not find any abnormal indications.
Major Egan turned back towards the departure runway but realized he was too close for a safe landing in reverse direction. As he transitioned to a downwind position, he was forced to sacrifice. altitude to maintain 190 kts at military power.
As he continued on downwind, a staccato engine vibration developed. Major Egan briefed the backseat pilot on ejection options and procedures and elected to fly a descending turn to final.
Major Egan selected half-flaps in an effort to slow his altitude loss and completed the final turn safely, accomplishing the landing without further difficulty.
Postflight analysis revealed that the first stage turbine wheel was the only normally functioning part of the turbine. The second stage was damaged and the last stage had disintegrated.
Major Egan’s rapid analysis of the problem and execution of the emergency landing resulted in the saving of a valuable fighter aircraft. His actions qualify him as the Tactical Air Command Aircrew of Distinction.”(1)
Source: (1) https://www.acc.af.mil/Portals/92/Docs/ACC%20SAFETY/COMBAT%20EDGE/TAC78_02.pdf