As we reported to you earlier today, a Lockheed-Martin F-16CJ from the 480 FS “Warhawks” has crashed in southern Germany near Engelmannreuth while on a training mission. Happily, the pilot of the “Super Weasel” was able to eject safely from the aircraft before it went down.
Leadership from the 52nd Fighter Wing at Spangdahlem Air Base reported the aircraft was not carrying live ordnance, and the pilot jettisoned his external fuel tanks prior to the crash.
“Our pilots go through extensive emergency procedure training, preparing them for a variety of crises that may occur in the air and on the ground,” said U.S. Air Force Colonel Steve Horton, Vice Commander of the 52 FW. “Our pilots are very familiar with their aircraft and how to egress from them safely in the event of an emergency. We are thankful that our pilot was able to put his training into action.”
First Responders from the U.S. Air Force and Army are working with local authorities to secure the location where the Viper went down. Currently, a 1,000-foot cordon has been established to protect the impact area and maintain the integrity of the scene so investigators can begin to analyze the wreckage and piece together what happened.
Stay tuned to FighterSweep for more updates as they become available, and in the mean time, here is an audio statement from Colonel Horton.