F-16 Fighter Plane from Toledo Crashes in Iraq; Airman Killed - KLTV.com - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

6/15/2007

F-16 Fighter Plane from Toledo Crashes in Iraq; Airman Killed

F-16's from the 180th shipped out in May. F-16's from the 180th shipped out in May.

BALAD AIR BASE, IRAQ -- A fighter jet from the Ohio Air National Guard has crashed in Iraq.  The U.S. Central Air Command says an F-16 "Fighting Falcon" crashed on a close air support mission.  Colonel Carole Allen, Executive Officer of the 180th Fighter Wing, on Friday afternoon that the plane came from the 180th.

The Air Force says the crash happened at 12:27am local time.  There was one crewmember on the plane.  A statement says the crash was an accident -- but there's no word yet on where the plane went down, or what happened to the pilot.

The jet was deployed to the 332nd Air Expeditionary Wing at Balad Air Base, 50 miles north of Baghdad.  It's the first such loss in more than six months.  A pilot was killed when an F-16 crashed last November 27th in the western province of Anbar.

The office of Congresswoman Marcy Kaptur confirmed the crash, saying the pilot's name was not yet known.  The incident is still under investigation.

Pilots for the 180th left for their mission in Iraq during the last week of May.  While in Iraq, they were expected to fly surveillance and support missions to help ground troops.  They are scheduled to return to Toledo later this summer.

According to the Air Force, the F-16 Fighting Falcon is a compact, multi-role fighter aircraft that has proven itself in air-to-air combat and air-to-surface attack.  Since Sept. 11, 2001, the F-16 has been a major component of the combat forces committed to the Global War on Terrorism flying thousands of sorties in support of operations Noble Eagle (Homeland Defense), Enduring Freedom in Afghanistan and Iraqi Freedom.

Some F-16 facts and figures from the Air Force:

  • Primary Function: Multirole fighter
  • Builder: Lockheed Martin Corp.
  • Power Plant: F-16C/D: one Pratt and Whitney F100-PW-200/220/229 or General Electric F110-GE-100/129
  • Thrust: F-16C/D, 27,000 pounds
  • Length: 49 feet, 5 inches (14.8 meters)
  • Height: 16 feet (4.8 meters)
  • Wingspan: 32 feet, 8 inches (9.8 meters)
  • Speed: 1,500 mph (Mach 2 at altitude)
  • Armament: One M-61A1 20mm multibarrel cannon with 500 rounds; external stations can carry up to six air-to-air missiles, conventional air-to-air and air-to-surface munitions and electronic countermeasure pods
  • Unit cost: F-16A/B , $14.6 million (fiscal 98 constant dollars); F-16C/D, $18.8 million (fiscal 98 constant dollars)
  • Crew: F-16C, one; F-16D, one or two
  • Date Deployed: January 1979
  • Inventory: Active force, F-16C/D, 738; Reserve, F-16C/D, 69; and Air National Guard, F-16C/D, 473

The 180th had its official send-off ceremony about a month before leaving for Iraq.  Hundreds of family members and friends packed a building at the fighter wing's base at Toledo Express Airport for the send-off.  Representatives Marcy Kaptur and Paul Gillmor, along with State Senator Teresa Fedor spoke to the crowd, delivering messages of pride and support.

On the Web:
Air Force F-16 Fact Sheet: http://www.af.mil/factsheets/factsheet.asp?id=103
Ohio Air National Guard: http://www.oh.ang.af.mil/

Story, Pictures and Video Provided by: WTOL Raycom Media.

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