F-35 Has Crashed At Hill Air Force Base (Updated)
A pilot ejected and emergency crews are responding to an F-35 that crashed at Hill Air Force Base in Utah.
An F-35 from the 388th Fighter Wing at Hill Air Force Base in Utah crashed at the north end of the runway, according to the wing.
The pilot ejected and emergency crews are responding.
The wing provided no additional details in its tweet. We have reached out to them for further information and will update this story when it comes in.
Hill AFB hosts the largest collection of F-35s and supports a number of weapons evaluation, training, and test activities that include other aircraft. It is also a major logistical depot for refurbishing and upgrading multiple types of aircraft in the Pentagon's inventory as well as executing a number of other critical functions for the USAF.
This is a developing story. We will update it when more information is available.
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Update 9:32 PM EST:
"As far as we know, the pilot is ok and has been taken to be evaluated," Micah Garbarino, a spokesman for the 388th Fighter Wing, told The War Zone.
Update 9:56 PM EST:
Update 3:10 AM EST:
Local CBS affiliate KUTV states that base officials credit the pilot with steering the F-35 towards an unpopulated area before punching out and quoted Colonel Craig Andrle, 388th Fighter Wing Commander as stating the following:
"Flying military aircraft is a risky business that we all accept when we go do it... First and foremost, we’re thankful that he’s okay, he got out of the aircraft. We’re thankful that nobody on the ground was injured."
A fire caused by the crash has been extinguished and a hazmat response is underway. Most aircraft are full of toxic materials that can be dangerous when burned, but an F-35 is even more so, with its radar-absorbent skin. Any parts of the aircraft scattered as a result of the crash can also be technologically sensitive in nature and must be recovered if possible.