Military Investigating Crash Site Of Tulsa-Based F-16 Jet

Tuesday, October 21st 2014, 6:17 pm

By: Craig Day

Security is tight at the site in Kansas where an F-16 from Tulsa crashed after colliding mid-air with another fighter jet during a training exercise Monday.

One of the F-16s returned safely to its base in Tulsa while the second crashed and burned in a field in southern Kansas. The pilot ejected and is okay after being checked out at a military clinic.

It could take months, perhaps even as long as a year, to determine exactly what caused two F-16 fighting Falcons from Tulsa's 138th Fighter Wing to collide while on a training mission.

10/20/2014 Related Story: F-16s Collide Over Kansas; One Crashes, One Returns To Tulsa

"I couldn't believe what was going on, you know what I mean. I just kept watching and thinking it was going to come back out of it, out of the spiral," said witness Dakota Chamberlain.

The Oklahoma National Guard isn't releasing the names of the pilots, but in a statement, military leaders said, "Fortunately both pilots are going to be alright and have been reunited with their families."

The jet is one of four Oklahoma Air National Guard F-16s flying during an air combat maneuvering training mission in designated airspace, about 100 miles from Tulsa.

Two jets returned safely, while a third had to be towed to the hangar upon landing in Tulsa.

Since the collision and crash Monday afternoon, the military is securing the site for investigators.

10/21/2014 Related Story: Kansas Crash Not First Accident Involving Tulsa F-16 Jets

U.S. Air Force Lieutenant Colonel, Brad Baugh said, "Our expertise is securing the site. Making sure we're ready for the investigation team to come in and really take over and dig into the causes."

The 138th routinely trains in designated airspace over sparsely populated areas.

The U.S. Air Force will appoint a group of officers to investigate what happened.

Colonel Max Moss with the Oklahoma National Guard said, "The Air Force will conduct a thorough investigation of the incident and we have the utmost faith in the investigatory process."

Moss said after the investigation is completed, additional information will be made available to the public.

The 138th Maintenance Group, which is also based in Tulsa, is currently assessing the damage to the plane that landed in Tulsa.


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