F-16 crashes near March Air Reserve Base

  • Published
  • 144th Fighter Wing

Fresno Air National Guard Base, Calif. — An F-16 Fighting Falcon from a detachment of the 144th Fighter Wing, stationed at March Air Reserve Base in Riverside, Calif., experienced a mishap May 16, at approximately 3:45 p.m. 

The pilot safely ejected. The pilot flying in yesterday’s mishap was a member of the 144th Fighter Wing, assigned to the 144th Fighter Wing alert detachment at March ARB.  He is a highly experienced F-16 instructor pilot with more than 2,000 hours in the aircraft.

The incident is under investigation.

The aircraft was conducting an Aerospace Control Alert (ACA) practice mission.  ACA is the teeth of the North American Aerospace Defense’s layered defense system designed to detect, identify, and engage threats to the homeland. The ACA mission comprises many capabilities and platforms: Air Force fighter, air refueling, and early warning aircraft have scrambled over 64,000 total alert sorties since 9/11. More than 65 percent of these sorties were flown by the Air National Guard and the Air Force Reserve. Together, USAF Total Force fighter wings man 24/7 alert at 16 sites across the continental United States, Alaska, and Hawaii. Each of these wings trains primarily for combat roles and performs ACA as an additional mission from its home station.