Pilot Injured in F-16 Crash at Holloman Air Force Base

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An F-16 Fighting Falcon over the test range at Holloman Air Force Base, New Mexico.
An F-16 Fighting Falcon over the test range at Holloman Air Force Base, New Mexico, Apr. 24, 2019. (U.S. Air Force/John Raven)

An F-16 Fighting Falcon pilot landing at Holloman Air Force Base, New Mexico ejected safely Monday before the jet crashed, officials announced on the base Facebook page.

"A U.S. Air Force F-16 Viper assigned to the 49th Wing crashed during landing at Holloman AFB at approximately 1800 MDT today. The sole pilot on board successfully ejected and is currently being treated for minor injuries," officials said in the post, which was published at about 8 p.m. Monday evening.

Emergency personnel were responding to the crash, officials said, and no further information was available.

The crash comes just weeks after 1st Lt. David Schmitz, of 77th Fighter Squadron at Shaw Air Force Base, South Carolina was killed while flying a F-16CM Fighting Falcon during a routine training mission. The cause of that crash is under investigation.

Monday's crash at Holloman marks the fifth crash of a U.S. Air Force fighter jet since May.

1st Lt. Kenneth "Kage" Allen died when his F-15C Eagle crashed off the coast of Great Britain during a routine training mission June 15. Allen was part of the 493rd Fighter Squadron, 48th Fighter Wing, at RAF Lakenheath, England.

An F-35A Lightning II, assigned to the 58th Fighter Squadron of the 33rd Fighter Wing, crashed on May 19 upon landing at Eglin Air Force Base, Florida. The pilot successfully ejected and was evaluated at the base hospital. Days earlier, an F-22 Raptor crashed during a routine training flight near Eglin. The pilot was able to eject and was also evaluated.

Separate investigations have been launched into each incident, officials have said.

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

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