April 5, 2017 (by Lieven Dewitte) - An F-16C that was on a training mission crashed in an unpopulated area near Andrews AFB in Maryland this morning.
USAF F-16C block 30 #85-1481 from the 121st FS flies over the skies of D.C. during a routine training mission at Joint Base Andrews. [USAF photo]
The pilot ejected safely before the jet went down about six miles southwest of the base. He was part of a four-ship F-16 formation.
The F-16 belonged to the 113th Fighter Wing of the D.C. Air National Guard
, which is assigned to Joint Base Andrews.
Large portions of the jet, including a wing and the fuselage, were found intact after the crash. There are no reports of injuries on the ground.
Officials say the pilot did everything he could before ejecting himself from the plane. Before ejecting, the pilot moved to a wooded area to ensure the public's safety.
The pilot was flown to the base medical center, treated and shortly after that released.
Known as the "Capital Guardians," the 113th Fighter Wing is charged with defending the nation's Capital and also provides fighter, airlift and support forces capable of local, national and global employment. Since 9/11, there is always at least one F-16 on eight minute alert status to take off in the case of emergency.
Wednesday's incident marked the sixth U.S. military non-combat aviation crashes since January 2017.