Probe Underway After F-15 Skids Off Runway Into Canal

Following the incident, efforts were made to minimize potential environmental impact, Air National Guard officials said.

A U.S. Air Force F-15D assigned to the 173rd Fighter Wing sits in a Bureau of Reclamation canal on the south side of the runway following a mishap landing at Kingsley Field in Klamath Falls, Oregon, on May 15, 2023. [Courtesy: U.S. Air National Guard]

An investigation is underway after a U.S. Air National Guard F-15D skidded off the runway and into an irrigation canal while landing at an Oregon airfield, leaving its pilot with minor injuries.

The May 15 incident occurred during a routine training mission around 3:15 p.m. PDT at Kingsley Field in Klamath Falls. The jet is assigned to the Air National Guard's 173rd Fighter Wing.

"Upon landing the aircraft left the paved surface and came to a stop in the Bureau of Reclamation irrigation canal at the south side of the runway," the 173rd Wing said in a statement.

The pilot, who is an instructor, was able to walk away from the mishap and was transported to a local medical facility as a precaution and for evaluation.

Following the incident, efforts were made to minimize the potential environmental impact, Air Force officials said.

“We don’t believe the aircraft is leaking any petroleum products based on our initial assessment of the water in the canal,” Colonel Micah Lambert, 173rd Fighter Wing vice commander, said in a statement. “Minimizing the environmental impact is one of our main priorities; we have taken precautionary measures and placed absorbent booms around the aircraft to prevent the flow of fuel, or other substances, downstream in the event there is a leakage.” 

The Air Force is working with local and federal agencies, including the Bureau of Reclamation, to remove the aircraft from the canal. A team of officers has been assigned to investigate the incident.

Kimberly is managing editor of FLYING Digital.

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