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Thursday, September 14, 2006

Spangdahlem F-16 crashes

SPANGDAHLEM AIR BASE, Germany (AFPN) -- A 22nd Fighter Squadron F-16 Fighting Falcon crashed at 1 p.m. local time Sept. 14 near the town of Oberkail, about 10 miles north of this busy fighter base.

The pilot ejected safely and is in good condition, said Staff Sgt. Tammie Moore, a spokesperson for the 52nd Fighter Wing.

The aircraft was on a training mission. Initial reports show that the aircraft only damaged trees and the field on impact, Sergeant Moore said. The region of Germany where the base is located, known as the Eifel, is an area of rolling hills and wooded areas. The area also has many farms.

Emergency crews from the base and local German authorities, including firefighters, medical personnel and security forces, are on the scene. Air Force officials are working closely with their German counterparts at the scene. The first responders established a 5,000-foot cordon around the accident site.

Base officials said a board of Air Force officials will investigate the cause of the accident.

The fighter wing maintains, deploys and employs F-16 and A-10 Thunderbolt II ground attack aircraft. It supports U.S. Air Forces in Europe, U.S. European Command and NATO. The area of responsibility in which the unit operates reaches from the Arctic Circle to South Africa and from the eastern shore of the Atlantic Ocean to the Middle East.
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