September 14, 2006 (by Asif Shamim) - Around 13.00h today an American F-16C from the 22nd Fighter Squadron, part of 52nd FW crashed near the southwest German town of Oberkail while on approach to Spangdahlem AB, Germany. The pilot ejected safely.
USAF F-16C block 50 #91-0337 from the 22nd FS is coming in after a training sortie at Spangdahlem AB on April 27th, 2006. [Photo by Mike Schoenmaker]
The aircraft (#91-0337
) was on a training mission. Initial reports show that the impact site only damaged trees and the field and none of the civilan populas. The region of Germany where the base is located, known as the Eifel, is an area of rolling hills and wooded areas. The area also has many farms.
The pilot, 1st Lt. Trevor Merrell from the 22nd Fighter Squadron at Spangdahlem AB, ejected safely from the aircraft.
Emergency crews from the base and local German authorities, including firefighters, medical personnel and security forces, are on the scene. Air Force officials are working closely with their German counterparts at the scene. The first responders established a 5,000-foot cordon around the accident site.
Base officials said a board of Air Force officials will investigate the cause of the accident.
The 52nd Fighter Wing operates F-16 and A-10 Thunderbolt II ground attack aircraft. The last crash involving a Spangdahlem jet occurred in March 2002. The pilot involved in that incident was killed.