SINGAPORE: The Republic of Singapore Air Force (RSAF) will resume flying its F-16 fleet after the cause of a recent crash involving the fighter jet has been elucidated.

Singapore Defence Ministry (MINDEF) in a statement on Saturday said the flight data recorder recovered from the crash showed that its pitch rate gyroscopes gave erroneous inputs to the flight control computer.

“This led to the pilot being unable to control the plane at take-off,” it said.

The cause of the incident was determined through detailed investigations by the RSAF and aircraft manufacturer, Lockheed Martin (LM).

In the May 8 incident, an F-16 jet crashed at the Tengah Air Base shortly after take-off. The pilot successfully ejected and received medical attention.

The ministry said all F-16 fighter jets are fitted with four such gyroscopes and simultaneous failure of the gyroscopes is a very rare occurrence; as such, LM does not stipulate any maintenance for the pitch rate gyroscopes in the fleet.

“This is the first such simultaneous malfunction of the pitch rate gyroscopes for the RSAF’s entire F-16 fleet that has operated over 35 years,” it said.

The ministry said as an added precaution, each F-16 pitch rate gyroscope will be checked and cleared before resumption of flights.

The RSAF with LM will undertake further studies to determine the specific cause for the gyroscope malfunction that resulted in this crash, it added.