Human remains found at site of F-16 fighter jet crash in Arizona

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Human remains found at site of F-16 fighter jet crash in Arizona

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Human remains found at site of F-16 fighter jet crash in Arizona

By Ofonime Essien

Taiwan F-16

A spokesman for Luke Air Force Base confirmed late Thursday night that search crews have located human remains at the site of an F-16 fighter jet crash near Bagdad.

Flown by a student pilot from Taiwan, the jet from Luke Air Force Base near Phoenix crashed Thursday morning in a remote area of northwestern Arizona, authorities said. The pilot was feared dead.

“Additional tests will be conducted by a coroner for a final positive identification,” according to a news release from Luke AFB. “While this is not conclusive, it is another indication the pilot did not survive the accident.”

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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.

“Our thoughts and focus continue to be on the family and giving them our full support during this difficult time,” Brig. Gen. Scott Pleus, commander of the 56th Fighter Wing at Luke said.

Crews on the ground had been searching for the pilot, whose name wasn’t released, all day.

“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.”

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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.

The crash occurred at about 8:45 a.m. in rugged terrain about 10 miles southwest of Bagdad in Yavapai County. The crash site, in a sparsely populated area, was located by a helicopter crew about four hours later.

Bagdad is about 85 miles northwest of Luke, which is located in the Phoenix suburb of Glendale.

Pleus said an interim safety board has been formed to conduct a preliminary investigation into the crash.

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Recent previous crashes involving F-16s from Luke included one on a training mission in southern New Mexico. That Pilot ejected safely.

An instructor pilot and a student pilot also ejected safely in June 2013 after their two-seat F-16 hit several birds during takeoff from Luke. The jet crashed in a farm field. An Air Force investigation report said the instructor pilot was at fault because he made a rapid climbing turn after the bird strike, robbing the plane of airspeed and the ability to recover and return to the base.

In July 2008, an Ohio Air National Guard pilot died when he blacked out and his F-16 crashed in western Arizona. An Air Force investigation board found that the 26-year-old pilot made an improper turn during a dogfighting maneuver in which high gravitational forces came into play.

Source: KMOV

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About Author

Ofonime Essien

Mr. Ofonime A. Essien, is a Helicopter Pilot. He is also a Microsoft Certified Database Administrator (MCDBA), Oracle Certified Associate (OCA), a Computer Forensics Expert, a Blogger, Web Master, a Writer and an Entrepreneur. He is an avid reader. He likes motivating others to achieve their dreams through writing and speaking.

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