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US F-16 fighter jet crashes in Louisiana

An F-16 Viper from Shaw Air Force Base, South Carolina, takes off from Barksdale Air Force Base, Louisiana, after Hurricane Dorian Sept. 6, 2019. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Lillian Miller)
March 24, 2022

On Wednesday, an F-16 fighter pilot ejected from his jet before it crashed into a wooded area near Ft. Polk in Louisiana, officials said, adding that no serious injuries were reported.

According to Tech Sgt. Rebecca Imwalle, the jet belonged to the Oklahoma Air National Guard and was flown from Ellington Field Joint Reserve Base near Houston, Texas, The Acadiana Advocate reported.

The jet is used in a joint mission on domestic and international threat protection for both the U.S. and Canada, she added.

A spokesman for the state police, Derek Senegal, said the aircraft went down south of DeRidder in Beauregard Parish. The pilot was the only person inside the aircraft at the time of the crash.

“The pilot was able to eject safely from the plane and was later picked up by the military personnel,” he said.

The pilot, later identified as Alexander Drummond, was transported to Ft. Polk’s hospital as authorities secured the crash site. The pilot had no serious injuries, Ft. Polk Director of Public Affairs Kavanaugh Breazeale said.

Imwalle said the crash is under investigation. No details on the pilot’s destination were provided.

Drummond’s father, Gentner Drummond, said in a statement that his son was piloting the jet at the time of the crash, noting that he is “receiving outstanding medical care and is expected to make a full recovery,” Tulsa World reported.

“The Air Force pilot in me wants all the details of exactly what happened, but it’s way too early for that,” Drummond said. “What I know at this point is that during a training run over Louisiana, Alexander had to ditch his F-16 in an empty Beauregard Parish field, sparing any injuries on the ground.”

“When you serve in the military, you put your life on the line day-in and day-out — whether our country is at war or not,” Drummond continued. “As an American, I thank my son for his service and his commitment to fighting for our freedom.”

“God was watching over Alexander today, and I am so thankful for his safety and well-being,” he added. “Our family looks forward to getting our arms around him as soon as possible.”