PHOENIX — An F-16 fighter jet crashed near Luke Air Force Base in suburban Phoenix on Wednesday evening, but both pilots ejected safely, authorities said.
The jet went down just before 7 p.m. in a desert area about 3 miles west of the airfield, said officials at the base.
Both pilots suffered minor injuries, Sgt. Linda Rainey said. Their names weren’t immediately released.
The Glendale Fire Department confirmed the pilots were walking around after the crash and were taken to Luke Air Force Base Hospital for further evaluation.
There was no immediate word on what might have caused the crash, Rainey said.
Witnesses said they heard the jet’s engine sputtering and popping just before the plane went down. Video from a TV helicopter showed plumes of smoke rising from the crash scene.
The plane crashed near Litchfield Road and Northern.
Rural/Metro Fire Department had a fire truck that witnessed the crash, allowing them to respond quickly.
“At 7 o’clock this evening, Rural Metro fire engine 833 was actually outside their fire station and witnessed this plane go over,” Public Information Officer Colin Williams with Rural/Metro Fire Department said. “They actually saw both pilots eject from the aircraft and the aircraft subsequently crashing into the ground. They were able to respond over into the area.”
No local structure damage was reported as a result of the crash.
Luke Air Force Base in Glendale, west of Phoenix, is the world’s largest F-16 training base.
In March 1999, the Air Force temporarily suspended all F-16 fighter flights at Luke after one of the jets crashed in the desert. At the time, it was the fifth such accident at Luke since October 1998.
Associated Press contributed to this report.
- 6 tips to create the best family movie night
- New bone marrow procedure holds promise for healing pain
- The best places to celebrate Fall in Phoenix
- Infamous athletes who did the most time for their crimes
- Diet, exercise and aspirin: 3 tools to fight colon cancer
- 2016 baseball highlights, bloopers and blunders
- See how CFOs really feel about business in the Valley
- The best television shows on the internet
- A preseason guide to avoid holiday weight gain
- The 5 worst things you could do for your roof
- 6 coolest things brewing in Arizona
- The virus that keeps head and neck cancers on the rise
- State Fair ‘Kid Reporter’ has all the angles covered
- 4 important things to know about timeshare maintenance fees
- Signs of delayed car crash injuries
- The truth about sports concussions
- The Alzheimer's epidemic: Facts you need to know
- The season is here, keep your Fantasy Football team strong all season
- 8 TV shows you can't miss this fall
- Football is here: 6 tips to make this your best season ever
- Gameday recipes and beers to match
- 6 reasons the Cardinals are driven to win the Super Bowl
- The Pac-12 football season nears kickoff
- Tips to get ready for a pain-free golf season
- Protect your family with these 7 home security features
- How to train like an Olympic swimmer
- 2016 Olympics: A guide to must-see TV events
- The bride's guide to feeling your best on your wedding day
- Deciding when you need knee surgery
- Celebrating Fourth of July is much cooler in these AZ towns