Article Index


  • October 1979: MTU F-16 assignment.
  • Presentations.
  • Introduction to the F-16 and its F100 engine.


October 1979, we're assigned to the MTU F-16 (*) to follow a conversion course on Pratt & Whitney F-100-PW-200 engine.
The class is constituted by 9 technicians, we should become the first francophone engine class to be converted on F-16 in Belgium and even in Europe.

(*) MTU: Maintenance Training Unit.

Maintenance F100 Engine02


The technicians selected to follow the course are: (alphabetically)

  • Sgt BAUDE Daniel
  • Sgt BONFOND Serge
  • Sgt BORMANN Helmut
  • Sgt DAUCHOT Maurice
  • Sgt GHYSSENS Henry
  • Sgt LALLEMAND Philippe
  • Sgt LAMOCK Guy
  • Sgt ROSE Philippe
  • Sgt WATRELOT Jean-Yves

The classrooms are located outside of the base within a non-operational zone called “The Camp”. The “Camp” is situated at the north-east of the airfield and includes the NCO Club, the NCO Mess, but also general accommodation and administrative buildings.
One of those buildings has been specially converted to host the MTU F-16, several classrooms being equipped with top didactical equipment are ready to welcome the various aircraft specialists (Airframe, Engine, Avionics, Weapon etc.)

On this first day, we are welcomed by Lieutenant-colonel GOEMINNE, chief of the MTU, but also by the various instructors which will teach us over the next three months. One of them is particularly concerned: Adjudant Jean KNAEPEN (*) being our engine instructor.


MTU Jean Knaeppen

(*) Adj Knaepen specialized until then on J-79 engine has been recently certified on Pratt & Whitney F-100-PW-100 in the U.S.
Having left Beauvechain with a first group of technicians at the end of march 1978, he’ll spend the next two months at Langley AFB (Virginia) receiving a theoretical training course, followed by three months of practical training on the legendary base of Edwards AFB in California.
At the end of August 1978, he comes back to Beauvechain and spends the following months writing the syllabuses which will be used to train the 1Wing engine technicians, which we are a part of by this late 1979.

Other instructors are in charge of training us on some specific subjects such as the study of the F-16 technical documentation, and the study of some auxiliary systems installed on the aircraft such as the Jet Fuel Starter, the ejection seat, etc.


The presentations being done, we’re informed about the schedule of the course that should be running until the end of the year and which is divided in a dozen of chapters.The various syllabuses dealing with each of them are distributed.
The theoretical as well as practical exams are already scheduled for early January 1980.

We start the course with the “Safety Precautions”.
This chapter defines all the danger zones of the F-16 that we must know before to approach and access the aircraft. They’re numerous and of various type.

  • Hot gases exhaust: EPU (1), JFS (2), ECS (3), etc.
  • Electromagnetic radiations : Radar, Radio, etc.
  • Engine: Air intake & Engine Exhaust
  • Ejection seat
  • Hydrazine. (4)


(1): Emergency Power Unit
(2): Jet Fuel Starter
(3): Environmental Control System
(4): Propellant used by the EPU.

Some zones such as the “hot gases” or “radiation” zones must be avoided, while others must be secured with “safety pins” before to be accessed:  Ejection seat, landing gear, EPU, arrestor hook, gun, missile, etc.


The next chapter is called MIDAS for Maintenance Integrated Data Access System and is presented by Adj DUBUISSON Prudent.

The F-16 maintenance is based from now on modern procedures which has required a complete revision of the technical documentation system used so far. The T.O.’s (Technical Orders) numbering is from now on based on the system to which it relates, (Electrical Power Supply, Landing Gear, Fuel, Engine etc.) this is the introduction of the ATA numbering. (Air Transport Association)

Also, the F-16 technical documentation incorporates now new types of T.O.’s which weren’t existing until then.

Adj Dubuisson shows us in detail the layout of each type of T.O. The technical documentation learned during this course will be at the base of each action performed later on an aircraft by the technician.

Below a picture showing Adj Dubuisson during a training session with Adj Bonlaron Gaby (left) and Adj Many Roland (right).


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