May 30, 2002 (by Lieven Dewitte) - An F-16 fighter jet on a training mission from Luke Air Force Base crashed into the desert Wednesday in southwestern Arizona. The pilot ejected safely.
Maj. David Walker was airlifted from the crash scene on the Tohono O'odham Nation reservation to Davis-Monthan Air Force Base and was reported to be in good condition. Walker was enroute to Luke late Wednesday.
Air Force officials said the F-16 crashed in late afternoon while practicing basic fighter maneuvers in the Sells, Arizona military operating area. There were no live bombs aboard the aircraft.
This is the 11th crash of an F-16 fighter from the suburban Glendale, Ariz., base since October 1998, with the last occurring July 23, 2001. No one has been seriously injured.
The base is the largest training facility in the world for F-16 fighters, flying an estimated 175 sorties a day. There are about 200 F-16's stationed at the base.
The plane was a Singapore
Air Force F-16C, the city state's Ministry of Defense said in statement, adding that the American pilot was flying the fighter as part of the Peace Carvin II training arrangement.
Tiny Singapore has one of the most modern and well-equipped armed forces in Asia but keeps many of its planes offshore in places like Australia and the United States for pilot training and to prevent quick destruction in the event of an attack.