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Pilot ejects before Luke F-16 crashes

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  • Pilot ejects before Luke F-16 crashes

    A Luke Air Force Base F-16 crashed this morning near Cotton Lane and Camelback Road in the West Valley.

    The details of the crash are not known, except that the pilot safely ejected and was taken to Banner Estrella Medical Center, 9201 W. Thomas Road. The condition of the pilot is not yet known.

    Surprise resident Candice Maier, 27, said she saw two jets take off from Luke and it was apparent one of the jets had problems.

    Large flames were coming from the jet, and suddenly, the pilot ejected, she said. Then Maier heard a large boom and saw smoke where the plane crashed in a cabbage field.

    Roger Schneider, 53, of Goodyear, was riding his bicycle when he saw the jets taking off and large flames coming out the rear of one of the jets. He also saw the pilot eject.

    Shortly after the crash, about a dozen airmen were walking the cabbage field with eyes fixed on the ground.

    Luke is the largest fighter wing in the world, with pilots flying about 170 sorties a day. The crash occurred in Luke's Southern Departure Corridor, the base's route to the Barry M. Goldwater Range for jets carrying live arms.

    The base stopped flights with live arms from flying to the north due to encroachment from Surprise and El Mirage.

    Luke officials though, say the F-16 was not carrying live arms. If there are no live arms on the jets, the wind dictates the direction they will fly out of the base.

    The last crash of an F-16 connected to Luke occurred on May 19, 2004. In that incident, an F-16 Singapore Air Force jet fighter crashed during routine flight training in southern Arizona.

    The pilot, 1st Lt. Brandon Loo, 25, was killed in the crash, which occurred while he was taking part in night-vision goggle training south of the Goldwater Range in the Sells Military Operating Area.

    Before that, two Luke F-16s crashed on June 10 and June 13, 2003. The first of those crashes was caused by a defective engine part, and the second crash was caused by a large turkey vulture that was sucked into the jet engine.

    At the time, those crashes were the 13th and 14th crashes that had occurred in the previous four years. During that period, Luke had a string of nine crashes within 20 months, which led to increased inspections and retrofitting engines in the aging jet fighters. Those actions significantly reduced the number of crashes.

    Luke graduates more than 400 pilots and 700 to 900 crew chiefs a year.

  • #2
    Glad to hear the pilots ok......
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    • #3
      yeah, good hear that he ejected in time, one more member of the martin baker fan club.
      Christian Vlček Sullivan | Through The Fence Photography
      Forever New Frontiers


      • #4
        Originally posted by [email protected]
        one more member of the martin baker fan club.
        What's the Martin Baker Fan Club?
        Follow me on Twitter!


        • #5
          Originally posted by PT737SWA
          What's the Martin Baker Fan Club?
          martin baker is the company that makes ejection seats. the martin baker fan club is made up of US Military pilots that basically owe their lives to the martin baker ejection seat.
          Christian Vlček Sullivan | Through The Fence Photography
          Forever New Frontiers


          • #6
            How about those who have lost their lives because of failure upon ejection of the MB seat ? I recall an incident where it failed on a F-14? In the article it quoted the pilot saying "No more Martin Baker! " ...

            But thank god he ejected safely to the ground !
            Inactive from May 1 2009.