F-16 Crashes During Training Mission

  • Jan 21, 2016 11:11pm GMT
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A United States Air Force F-16 crashed Thursday morning north of Luke Air Force Base while on an air-to-air combat training mission.

Rescue crews searching the rugged terrain have not found the pilot who is with the Taiwanese Air Force.

Stephen Losey, Air Force Times, shares more details on the accident.

A crashed F-16 Fighting Falcon from the 56th Fighter Wing at Luke Air Force Base in Arizona has been found, the wing said Thursday afternoon.

But there is still no word on the status of the jet's student pilot from Taiwan.

Base officials said the man with the Taiwanese Air Force was flying solo and engaged in air-to-air combat training with an instructor when his F-16 went down for still unknown reasons.

Brig. Gen. Scott Pleus, commander of the 56th Fighter Wing at Luke, said rescue crews on the ground have been unable to find the pilot, whose name wasn't released.

"All indications lead me to believe that the pilot did not survive the accident," Pleus said at a late afternoon news conference. "But until we have 100 percent confirmation, we will continue search efforts."

Pleus said the student pilot had been in a training program for the past six months at Luke, which is a major pilot-training base for the Air Force and foreign military services.

In a release, the 56th said local authorities found the crash site and notified the wing. Air Force officials are heading to the site to work with local authorities as they access and secure the site.

Senior Airman Jenna Bigham, a spokeswoman for the 56th, said the jet crashed at about 8:45 a.m. local time north of Luke, near Bagdad, Arizona. The cause of the crash is also not yet known, she said.

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