U.S Air Force officials report a Lockheed-Martin F-16 crash earlier today. The aircraft was on a training mission in Southern New Mexico, and we are happy to report the pilot safely ejected and was found in “good condition.”
The aircraft went down at 0845 local time this morning near Salinas Peak, which is approximately 45 miles northwest of Holloman Air Force Base in Alamogordo. For those of you familiar with the area, Salinas Peak is the highest mountain in the San Andres Mountains at just under 9,000 feet in elevation, and is within the confines of the White Sands Missile Range.
The aircraft was assigned to the 54th Fighter Group, which is a GSU or Geographically Separated United of the 56th Fighter Wing at Luke Air Force Base in Glendale, Arizona. The 54th is the parent command to two F-16 training units, the 311th and 314th Fighter Squadrons. Those units were activated in New Mexico as Luke began realigning for the new F-35.
This video footage was taken earlier this year, when the 314th Fighter Squadron received the first twelve of its airplanes from Luke to stand up the unit and begin flying operations at Holloman.