May 20, 2004 (by Lieven Dewitte) - A Singapore Air Force F-16C fighter jet crashed Wednesday night during a routine training mission south of a military training range in southern Arizona.
RSAF F-16C block 52 #97121, based at Luke Air Force Base for training purposes.
The crash occurred at about 21.41h local time, south of the Barry M. Goldwater Range near Sells.
The plane had taken from Luke Air Force Base with two other aircraft on a routine night training flight. About 45 minutes into the flight, communication with the missing aircraft was lost, said the Singapore
The Singaporean pilot, which was first reported missing, did not survive the crash.
The pilot Lieutenant Loo Kwang Han, was 25 years old. He joined the RSAF
in June 1998, obtained his pilot wings in July 2001 and became an F-16 pilot in January 2003.
The F16 block 52
was assigned to the 56th Fighter Wing, 425th FS
'Black Widows', which undertakes the flight training for the Singapore AF crews at Luke.
Under the Peace Carvin II program, signed in 1993, RSAF Block 52's were based at Luke AFB
, for training purposes. This training agreement expired last year but the USAF and RSAF extended this for an additional 15 years, which means RSAF F-16 training at Luke will continue until 2018.
Almost exactly two years ago there was another RSAF F-16 that crashed
at the Barry M. Goldwater Training Range. The USAF pilot of that jet, Maj. David Walker, ejected safely.