Pilot Safely Ejects from F-16 Crash in New Mexico

The Fighting Falcon pilot safely ejected during the mishap near White Sands National Park and has been released from a local hospital.

An F-16 flies over Holloman Air Force Base, New Mexico, Aug. 13, 2020. [Courtesy: U.S. Air Force]

A U.S. Air Force F-16 pilot has been released from medical treatment with “minor injuries” after ejecting from the aircraft near Holloman Air Force Base (AFB) in New Mexico on Tuesday.

The single-seat F-16 assigned to the 49th Wing based at Holloman AFB went down around 11:50 a.m. MDT, according to the Air Force.

The crash occurred near White Sands National Park about 7 miles from the base, near the U.S. Army’s White Sands Missile Range.

According to a report in Air Force Times, Holloman is a training hub for F-16 pilots, graduating an average of 180 candidates per year. Tuesday's crash marks the fourth involving Air Force F-16s within the past 12 months, with the other three occurring in South Korea.

The news source cited an average of three F-16 losses per year over the past 10 years. The service operates 841 Fighting Falcons, with plans to reduce that to 830 during fiscal year 2025, according to the report.

Editor’s Note: This article first appeared on AVweb.

Mark Phelps is a senior editor at AVweb. He is an instrument rated private pilot and former owner of a Grumman American AA1B and a V-tail Bonanza.

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