• F-16 Goes Down In Training Accident, Starts Huge Fire

    A training incident gone wrong led to the crash of an F-16 Fighting Falcon in Arizona on Wednesday night at 8 p.m. local time.

    The pilot’s status is still unknown, the Arizona Daily Star reports.

    The crash occurred about 5 miles from the Douglas Municipal Airport near the border to New Mexico. Upon impact, the F-16 fighter jet from the 162nd Wing, Arizona Air National Guard caused a massive brush fire to spread. Military officials soon arrived on the scene to begin an investigation. While the fire spread dangerously close to a high-pressure gas line, the line did not rupture, despite firefighters struggling to keep the blaze under control.

    An area man, Raymond Candell, told Tucson News Now that he called 911 after witnessing the crash and seeing fireball explosions so bright that the night sky lit up as though it were daylight.

    At least one family relatively close to the fire, which spread up to about 400 acres, had to be evacuated. Officials will allow the family to return from temporary housing back to their home later on Thursday.

    Initial reports stated that two aircraft crashed, but Fort Huachuca spokeswoman Tanja Linton confirmed that only one F-16 had gone down. Aircraft parts are littered everywhere. Sheriffs cordoned off two miles around the scene of the crash. A board will be established to look into the matter further.

    The 162nd Wing has three squadrons, totaling more than 170 F-16s.

    Follow Jonah Bennett on Twitter


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