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Air Force officials convene board to examine F-16 crash

November 29, 2006 (by Jim Garamone) - US Air Force officials have convened an investigative board to look into the crash of an F-16 Fighting Falcon engaged in combat operations over Iraq Nov. 27.

Air Force officials have convened an investigative board to look into the crash of this F-16 that was engaged in combat operations over Iraq Nov. 27.

The board will look into what caused the F-16 single-seat fighter to crash about 20 miles northwest of Baghdad around 1:35 p.m. local time.

The pilot of the aircraft is officially listed as "duty status: whereabouts unknown," coalition spokesman Army Maj. Gen. William Caldwell said during a Baghdad news conference today.

While the cause of the crash is unknown, there is nothing to suggest that insurgents shot down the aircraft, General Caldwell said. The aircraft was part of the 332nd Air Expeditionary Wing at Balad Air Base, Iraq.

Brig. Gen. Stephen Hoog, air component coordination element director for Multinational Force Iraq, said the fighter was part of a "troops in contact" operation. The aircraft was under operational control of ground commanders at the time of the incident.

General Hoog said officials have retrieved DNA material from the site and that it will take two to four days to analyze the material.

Immediately after the crash, other aircraft and surveillance assets were over the site, the general said. "Those assets did observe insurgents in the vicinity of the crash site," he added.

A quick-reaction force secured the area as soon as combat operations in the area finished. General Hoog said officials found the ejection seat, but it wasn't possible to determine if the pilot had used the seat or not.

  • 29/11/2006 The DOD have released the name of the Airman listed as 'duty status - whereabouts unknown'. Maj. Troy L. Gilbert of the 309th FS was the pilot of the F-16.

  • 03/12/2006 The US military has listed Maj. Gilbert as killed in action. The US Air Force said Sunday that his identity was confirmed through DNA analysis of remains recovered at the crash site 20 miles northwest of the Iraqi capital.

Courtesy of American Forces Press Service

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