September 2, 2014 (by Lieven Dewitte) - An F-16 fighter jet crashed into the ground while it started to descend into the airport in the Southeastern province of Diyarbakir. The female pilot managed to safely use her ejection seat.
TUAF F-16C block 40 #92-0011 carrying a pair of cargo pods, seen at Eggebek AB on August 23rd, 2003. [Photo by Erik Frikke]
The jet is part of the 8th Air Force Base based in Diyarbakır.
The Pilot Capt. Şefika Burcu Arpacı is one of four women F-16 pilots in Turkish Air Force. She became the first female pilot who flew with the F-16 across the Atlantic Ocean to a 'Mapple Flag Exercise' in Canada (2010). She is also a fighter pilot's wife and mother of 2.5 year old girl.
Deputy Gov. Ahmet Günaydın said the plane's engine caught fire during landing. The jet reportedly came into contact with an electricity pylon before the accident.
The Turkish General Staff declared in a written statement that the pilot on the single-seat aircraft ejected herself from the plane and also that the exact cause of the accident was yet to be known.
President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan confirmed during a press meeting in Ankara before he left for Baku that no other damage was caused.