June 25, 2015
DOUGLAS, Ariz. (AP) — An Iraqi pilot who has been training in the United States for four years was flying an F-16 Fighting Falcon aircraft that crashed in southern Arizona, a spokesman for the Iraqi defense minister said Thursday.
“We have no word yet on his fate or the reason behind the crash,” Brig. Gen. Tahseen Ibrahim told The Associated Press. “We are in contact with the Americans to get more details.”
The Arizona Air National Guard did not release information about the pilot, who was the only person aboard when the plane went down during a Wednesday night training mission with the Guard’s 162nd Wing.
Rescuers were sent to the crash site 5 miles east of Douglas Municipal Airport, according to a Guard statement. Douglas is about 120 miles southeast of Tucson.
The plane ruptured a gas line and sparked a fire that covered about 400 yards, Cochise County sheriff’s spokeswoman Carol Capas told the Arizona Daily Star (http://bit.ly/1GJtFCv ). Once the flames are extinguished, officials will assess the damage.
The Guard’s 162nd Wing conducts international F-16 pilot training from Tucson International Airport as well as reconnaissance missions from Davis-Monthan Air Force Base, according to its website.
Base officials did not immediately have more information.
Associated Press writer Sinan Salaheddin contributed to this report from Baghdad.
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Disclaimer: This article was not written by Silent Soldier.