Air Force F-16 Fighter Crashes in Arizona; Pilot Ejects Safely

Photo of an F-16 Crash at Luke AFB, April 24, 2018. (Photo: Air Force amn/nco/snco Facebook page.)
Photo of an F-16 Crash at Luke AFB, April 24, 2018. (Photo: Air Force amn/nco/snco Facebook page.)

A U.S. F-16 Fighting Falcon from Luke Air Force Base, Arizona, crash landed during a routine training flight near the Arizona-California border Tuesday. The pilot ejected and was in good condition, officials said in a release.

The F-16C, assigned to the 56th Fighter Wing, diverted and attempted to land at Lake Havasu City Municipal Airport at approximately 10:35 a.m. local time, Luke officials said in the release.

"During landing, the aircraft departed the prepared surface and the pilot ejected from the aircraft. The pilot is in good condition and is being transported to Havasu Regional Medical Center," according to the release.

"First responders are on site and there is no immediate danger to the public," it said.

Witnesses posted photos of the crash, which circulated on social media. The popular Facebook group Air Force amn/nco/snco showed photos of the F-16 on its belly in the dirt with its nose broken off.

The Arizona National Guard's 162nd Wing also trains Iraqi pilots in the U.S. An Iraqi student pilot was killed when an F-16 crashed in southeastern Arizona last year.

The F-16 crash is the latest in a recent string of aviation accidents.

An F-22 Raptor from the 90th Fighter Squadron, 3rd Wing, experienced engine failure April 6 during a routine training flight at Tyndall Air Force Base, Florida, eight days before another F-22's belly skid at Naval Air Station Fallon, Nevada.

Just in the month of April, there have been several more serious aviation mishaps, including a fatal Army AH-64 Apache helicopter crash in Kentucky; a fatal F-16 Thunderbirds crash in Nevada; a non-fatal AV-8B Harrier jet crash in Djibouti; a non-fatal CH-53 Super Stallion helicopter hard landing in Djibouti; and a fatal CH-53E helicopter crash in California.

-- Oriana Pawlyk can be reached at oriana.pawlyk@military.com. Follow her on Twitter at @Oriana0214.

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