An Air Force pilot was killed late Tuesday night in the crash of an F-16CM Fighting Falcon assigned to the 20th Fighter Wing, Shaw Air Force Base, South Carolina , according to a message on the official Shaw Facebook page.
The aircraft was on a routine training mission with one pilot on board when the crash happened at 11:30 p.m., according to the message.
Col. Larry Sullivan, commander of the 20th Fighter Wing, confirmed the pilot’s death early Wednesday morning in a Facebook video:
“The name of the pilot is being withheld until 24 hours after next of kin notification,” according to the message. “Out of respect and consideration for the family, we ask for your patience and to avoid speculation until we release more information.”
This is the Air Force’s second deadly crash in just over two weeks. On June 15, 1st Lt. Kenneth “Kage” Allen was killed when his F-15C crashed into the sea east of the United Kingdom. Allen was with the 493rd Fighter Squadron of the 48th Fighter Wing at RAF Lakenheath in England.
It also marks the fifth F-16 crash in little more than a year:
♦ An F-16C pilot assigned to Kunsan Air Base in South Korea ejected at the base Dec. 2 while attempting to land. The Fighting Falcon pilot, who ejected safely and suffered minor injuries, was taken to a medical facility, the 8th Fighter Wing at Kunsan said in a release.
The aircraft crashed upon touching down on the runway due to a main landing gear collapse.
♦ An F-16D from the 49th Wing at Holloman Air Force Base in New Mexico crashed about 95 miles southeast of the base Oct. 30 during a training flight. The pilot safely ejected and was briefly treated at a local hospital.
The crash was due to a catastrophic failure of the engine, resulting from errors by depot-level maintenance personnel at Tinker AFB, Oklahoma, in September 2016, according to the accident investigation board’s president.
♦ An F-16C fighter jet crashed in western Germany Oct. 8 while conducting a routine training sortie, but the pilot was able to eject safely with only minor injuries. The Fighting Falcon was assigned to the 480th Fighter Squadron, 52nd Fighter Wing, at Spangdahlem Air Base.
Investigators found that crash was the result of a partial power loss, complicated by poor weather conditions.
♦ A California Air National Guard F-16 fighter jet crashed into a warehouse just outside March Air Reserve Base on May 16, 2019, sending a dozen people to hospitals for evaluation after they were exposed to debris, authorities said. The pilot ejected and parachuted to safety.
A loss of hydraulic pressure prevented the pilot from controlling the Fighting Falcon, investigators found.
This is a developing story. Please stay with Air Force Times for updates.
Howard Altman is an award-winning editor and reporter who was previously the military reporter for the Tampa Bay Times and before that the Tampa Tribune, where he covered USCENTCOM, USSOCOM and SOF writ large among many other topics.