An F-16 Fighting Falcon jet belonging to the South Dakota Air National Guard’s 114th Fighter Wing skidded off of a Sioux Falls runway upon landing Wednesday afternoon, coming to rest nose-down in the grass.
The airman in the jet was returning from a routine training mission around 2:45 p.m. local time, according to the wing, which flies F-16C/D airframes.
The jet’s landing gear appeared to have collapsed and its nose separated from its body, per photos taken by the Argus Leader news outlet and others on social media. Its canopy was open but not gone — indicating the pilot climbed out once on the ground at Joe Foss Field, where the wing is based at the Sioux Falls airport.
Airmen were safe following the incident, and emergency crews responded to the scene, the wing said.
The Air National Guard is investigating the accident.
In March, another F-16 assigned to the Oklahoma National Guard crashed in Louisiana while conducting training out of Texas. Its pilot safely ejected.
The Air Force suffered three F-16 mishaps in fiscal 2021, including one that destroyed the airplane and killed its pilot, according to the Air Force Safety Center. About three Fighting Falcons have been totaled each year on average for the past decade.
The service owns about 900 F-16C/D airframes, which have flown since the 1980s. Each jet cost $19 million in 1998 dollars, the Air Force said, or more than $30 million now.
Rachel Cohen is the editor of Air Force Times. She joined the publication as its senior reporter in March 2021. Her work has appeared in the Washington Post, the Frederick News-Post (Md.), Air and Space Forces Magazine, Inside Defense, Inside Health Policy and elsewhere.