The General Dynamics F-16 Fighting Falcon is reported down in the Hiawatha National Forest, Upper Peninsula, Michigan. The fate of the sole pilot is unknown at present. The F-16 crashed during a night training exercise.
An F-16 Fighting Falcon from the Wisconsin Air National Guard’s 115th Fighter Wing from Truax Field Air National Guard Base outside Madison, Wisconsin, crashed Tuesday night at approximately 20.00 Local Time near Stevens Lake close to the border of Delta County in the center of Michigan’s upper peninsula. The condition of the pilot has not been reported.
Some unconfirmed reports suggested the aircraft may have been carrying live ammunition at the time of the crash.
“We are a close knit family and when an incident like this occurs, every member in our organization feels it,” said Col. Bart Van Roo, 115th Fighter Wing commander, in a release. “The safety of our pilot along with search and rescue efforts are our top priority, and we will continue to pray for the pilot’s safe return.”
The cause of the crash is unknown and the incident remains under investigation.
The base announced it was conducting night flying operations as part of regular training from Dec. 7-10.
The wing flies 21 F-16s, serving as part of Operation Noble Eagle. It also has repeatedly deployed to the Middle East, including a 2019 deployment to Afghanistan. The Air Force announced in April the unit would receive 18 F-35As starting in 2023.
The incident is the latest F-16 crash this year, including a June fatal mishap at Shaw Air Force Base, S.C., and a July crash at Holloman Air Force Base, N.M. In November 2019, the Air Force Safety Center and F-16 Program Office said it did not see any systemic safety issues with the jet despite a series of crashes in recent years.