“I know where you touched down and I don’t appreciate it.” This is how professional pilots judge landings. They don't care whether you greased the touchdown. They care whether you nailed airspeed and glide path.
As long time readers know, I'm a big fan of James Albright. If you want to understand a little about the guy, you should read this NY Times article from 1996. He's been walking the walk on aviation safety for 30 years now and taken some career hits for doing so. We should all try to fly a little more like him. That's what leadership in the cockpit looks like.
PS: I helped edit his most recent book. You should buy it.
(As you read on, if you're having trouble visualizing the throttle action on the F-16, check this video. As you go forward, there's an outboard rotation to go full forward into afterburner. Then as you go back, there's an outboard rotation, plus the safety switch, to come fully aft to cut-out.)
Most of us don't fly the F-16, but this turns out to be an interesting case study in how failure of a seemingly non-essential part contributed to the loss of an aircraft--perhaps in conjunction with some sloppy flying by a very experienced aviator. In preparation for landing, the pilot of the F-16 pulled the throttle all the way back, where it's supposed to hit the idle stop. There's a switch to allow the throttle to move past the idle stop to the cut-off position. That switch was intermittently sticky/broken, which allowed the throttle past idle and into the cut-off position. Seems like the pilot must have pulled the throttle back somewhat forcefully, because in addition to the safety switch, the throttle has to go up over a step and be rotated outboard before being pulled into the cut-off position. This took place shortly before landing--too low for an engine restart.
All accidents have multiple causes, and it feel a little like this one may have scapegoated maintenance for an accident that was really the pilot's fault. The switch was determined (after the crash) to be intermittently sticking, and the pilot still had to push the throttle out-board before going all the way to cut-off, so it's hard to call this a pure equipment failure. It's nevertheless a reminder of the unintended consequences of flying with seemingly minor part malfunctions. A good analogy would by flying a Cessna where the vernier release button on the mixture was stuck, allowing you to accidentally pull the mixture to idle cut-out, when you thought you had grabbed the throttle. That would totally be pilot error, but one compounded by a seemingly minor safety feature that was inoperative.