Air Force: Bird may have brought down F-16 near Luke - KLTV.com - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

UPDATE

Air Force: Bird may have brought down F-16 near Luke

Fighter jet crashes in west Valley. (Source: CBS 5 News) Fighter jet crashes in west Valley. (Source: CBS 5 News)
Twitter photo courtesy of Tristan Truax Twitter photo courtesy of Tristan Truax
Twitter photo courtesy of Tristan Truax Twitter photo courtesy of Tristan Truax
LUKE AIR FORCE BASE, AZ (CBS5) -

An F-16 fighter jet that went down near Luke Air Force Base during a routine training mission most likely hit a bird, the Air Force said Thursday.

An instructor and one student ejected safely before the plane crashed in a field a little before 7 p.m. Wednesday, officials said. 

A Rural Metro crew stationed near Luke saw the crash. They picked up the pilots who were walking down a farm road and took them to the hospital. The pilots, whose names were not released, are expected to be OK.

Witnesses said they heard the engine sputtering and popping just before the aircraft crashed. The jet is with the 309th Fighter Squadron.

"The jet exploded. It went boom," said witness Eva DelaCruz who lives near the base. "It exploded again and we looked up and saw the jet with a lot of flames. Like a lot of fire and I said 'that's not normal' because we see jets left and right."

Another witness said the pilots ejected shortly after the plane took off to the south. The plane flew unmanned for about a minute before crashing to the ground just outside the fence of the base. 

"We were the first ones there before anybody else," recounted DelaCruz. "And my grandsons ran across the field to look at the guys and they said one was hurt, was bleeding from the nose."

In a statement, Luke AFB officials reported both pilots were uninjured. A spokesman for Rural/Metro told CBS5 one of the pilots was complaining of back pain. 

Helicopter footage showed plumes of smoke rising from the crash scene near Glendale Avenue and Sarival Road, about two to three miles west of the base.

Maricopa County sheriff's deputies have closed nearby roadways.

The Air Force will conduct a thorough investigation to determine the cause of the accident

Stay with cbs5az.com and CBS 5 News for updates on this developing story.

[Text BREAKING to 23765 to get news alerts on your mobile phone]

Copyright 2013 CBS 5 (KPHO Broadcasting Corporation). All rights reserved.

  • UPDATEAir Force: Bird may have brought down F-16 near LukeMore>>

  • Connect with Us

    Connect with Us

    Click our Action Button Like us on Facebook Follow us on Twitter Add us to your circle on Google+ Check us out on YouTube Invite us on LinkedIn Find us on PinterestMore >>
    Click our Action Button Like us on Facebook Follow us on Twitter Add us to your circle on Google+ Check us out on YouTube Invite us on LinkedIn Find us on PinterestMore >>
  • NewsMore>>

  • Sports WebXtra: UT-Tyler hosts special Olympics

    Sports WebXtra: UT-Tyler hosts special Olympics

    Tuesday, March 28 2017 12:13 AM EDT2017-03-28 04:13:30 GMT
    UT-Tyler athletics hosting special olympics on Monday night.UT-Tyler athletics hosting special olympics on Monday night.

    The UT-Tyler Student Athlete Advisory Committee hosted its second annual special Olympics with swoop on Monday night. Numerous Patriot athletes took time out of their normal practice and school routine to participate in the event and give kids a night of fun they normally don't experience.

    More >>

    The UT-Tyler Student Athlete Advisory Committee hosted its second annual special Olympics with swoop on Monday night. Numerous Patriot athletes took time out of their normal practice and school routine to participate in the event and give kids a night of fun they normally don't experience.

    More >>
  • Chapel Hill officially hires Jason Hooker

    Chapel Hill officially hires Jason Hooker

    Tuesday, March 28 2017 12:08 AM EDT2017-03-28 04:08:51 GMT
    Jason Hook officially hired at Chapel Hill.Jason Hook officially hired at Chapel Hill.

    A new era of Chapel Hill football will begin this fall. Jason Hooker's hiring became official at Monday night's CHISD board meeting. Hooker, who comes over from Brownsboro, is replacing Thomas Sitton as head coach and athletic director.

    More >>

    A new era of Chapel Hill football will begin this fall. Jason Hooker's hiring became official at Monday night's CHISD board meeting. Hooker, who comes over from Brownsboro, is replacing Thomas Sitton as head coach and athletic director.

    More >>
  • Sports WebXtra: Blake Lynch impressing during Baylor spring practices

    Sports WebXtra: Blake Lynch impressing during Baylor spring practices

    Tuesday, March 28 2017 12:02 AM EDT2017-03-28 04:02:09 GMT
    Matt Rhule is excited about Lynch's progress.Matt Rhule is excited about Lynch's progress.

    Former Baylor standouts Mount Pleasant product KD Cannon and Linden-Kildare native Shock Linwood will get their chance on April 5th to workout in front of NFL scouts and personnel during the Bears Pro Day. In the meantime, new head coach Matt Rhule is trying to lay the foundation of a program that can compete for a Big 12 title in 2017

    More >>

    Former Baylor standouts Mount Pleasant product KD Cannon and Linden-Kildare native Shock Linwood will get their chance on April 5th to workout in front of NFL scouts and personnel during the Bears Pro Day. In the meantime, new head coach Matt Rhule is trying to lay the foundation of a program that can compete for a Big 12 title in 2017

    More >>
Powered by Frankly