Has there ever been a landing made by an F-16 without the speedbrakes extended?

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    $\begingroup$ Ever? In the 4+ decades that it's been flying, in dozens of different countries... it'd be more surprising if it hasn't happened. Which doesn't mean that there is a publicly accessible report. But when you have thousands of jets flying for that long, just about anything that can happen, has happened, at least once. $\endgroup$ – Ralph J May 3 '20 at 13:14
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    $\begingroup$ It's safe to assume that yes - if there was any malfunction which prevents the extension of the speedbrake. Why? $\endgroup$ – DeepSpace May 3 '20 at 13:14
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    $\begingroup$ @RalphJ especially with an aircraft that even its first flight was accidental ;) $\endgroup$ – DeepSpace May 3 '20 at 13:15
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    $\begingroup$ Yes, they do. I’ve seen plenty of Viper landings where the pilot did them without using speedbrakes on final. They will generally extend them after touchdown. $\endgroup$ – Carlo Felicione May 3 '20 at 15:14

Here's the documentation from Lockheed on the F-16. From just a general glace, it looks like the only landing distance performance tables that are provided are for short-field operations (similar to how Cessna produces their POH), which all indicate that speedbrakes are extended.

Additionally, the same document lists "Speedbrakes - Close" in the after landing checklist, where it lists "Speedbrakes - Closed" in the before takeoff checklist. Deduce what you will from that, but to me this means the speedbrakes would have to be open for landing necessitating the 'close' action, not a verification that they are closed, as in the before takeoff checklist.

(Just as a side note, a podcast that I listen to quite regularly interviewed an F-16 pilot (John "Rain" Waters,) and he mentions in the podcast that the airplane was challenging to land because of its inherent desire to fly. So it would make sense then that in order to attain Vref or similar, speedbrakes would need to be extended. And it seems that way from the documentation as well.)

So, to directly answer your question: under normal procedures, no probably not.

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    $\begingroup$ That's the standard operating procedure, but the question asked if an F-16 has ever landed without speedbrakes. This answer doesn't address that. See the comment from Ralph J above. $\endgroup$ – CatchAsCatchCan May 4 '20 at 2:35
  • $\begingroup$ @CatchAsCatchCan I did see that prior to giving my answer, which is why I took a different approach. However given the brevity of the initial question, I'm not sure you can read much into it. I interpreted the question to ask if landings are ever made during normal procedure without speedbrakes. I'm sure one would be intelligent enough to deduce that the system could fail, resulting in a landing without the system. Perhaps that's an assumption I made incorrectly. Regardless, "under normal procedures, no probably not." is asserted in my answer, thus I do address the question. $\endgroup$ – Ethan Martin May 4 '20 at 3:36

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