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F-16 crashes in New Mexico, pilot being treated for injuries after ejection

An F-16 Fighting Falcon takes off July 16, 2014, during exercise Beverly Midnight 14-2 at Kunsan Air Base, South Korea. (Senior Airman Taylor Curry/U.S. Air Force)
October 30, 2019

An F-16 Falcon fighter jet crashed near Holloman Air Force Base in New Mexico on Tuesday.

A pilot attached to the 49th Wing was conducting a routine training flight at around 7 p.m. Tuesday night when the F-16 went down, reported. The pilot was able to eject from the fighter jet before it crashed and was taken to a local hospital for medical treatment.

Emergency services were reportedly able to respond quickly to the crash, which occurred around 80 miles southeast of the base.

The cause of the crash is not yet known.

“The crash is currently under investigation and no cause has been determined. A board of qualified officers will investigate the accident,” 49th Wing officials said in an official statement posted to Facebook Tuesday night.

This is not the first time a U.S. Air Force F-16 fighter jets has crashed this year, or even this month.

On Oct. 8, an F-16 fighter from Spangdahlem Air Base in Zemmer, Germany crashed into an uninhabited area. The pilot, again, was able to eject safely and was taken to a nearby hospital.

In May, another F-16 fighter jet crashed into a commercial building in California. Within days, dashcam footage of the incident appeared, showing the pilot eject over a nearby road, before the aircraft continued on its downward trajectory.

The F-16 is a multirole fighter jet designed by Lockheed Martin Corp. The first F-16A variant entered into U.S. service in January of 1979, according to an Air Force fact sheet of the fighter.

The Nov. 2018 findings of a Feb. 2018 F-16 incident, reported by the Stars and Stripes, determined an outdated aircraft part caused an engine fire on an F-16 after it took off from Misawa Air Base, Japan. The pilot was able to jettison spare fuel pods and land safely despite the engine fire.

The fighter jet’s design has seen various updates including the F-16C/D Block 25-32 variant in 1981, the F-16C/D Block 40-42 variant in 1989 and a more recent F-16C/D Block 50-52 variant in 1994.

The Air Force had 1,017 of the F-16C/D variants at the time their fact sheet was published.

According to Defense One, Lockheed Martin has pitched the F-21, a “beefed up” version of the F-16 which shares parts with the newer F-22 and F-35, as an update to the older fighter jet that the Indian Military might use as a “pathway” to owning the F-35.