Fighter Jet News

F-16 Fighting Falcon News

Luke F-16C lost over Arizona

March 14, 2008 (by Jon Somerville) - An F-16C from 62nd FS based at Luke AFB was lost at 12.17h local time just south of Alamo Lake, about 50 miles northwest of Wickenburg. Sadly the pilot is reported dead.

F-16C #84-1273 lost today March 14, 2008

The F-16C that crashed is believed to be #84-1273.

At the time of the loss the pilot who had not been named was on a two ship air-to-air student training mission said Mary Jo May, a Luke spokeswoman.

Rescue teams used Blackhawk helicopters and all-terrain vehicles to scour the rugged area about 80 miles northwest of Phoenix in the effort to find the wreckage and the pilot.

A board of enquiry will be convened to investigate the accident.

Later news from the State Adjutant Generals office officially released the name of the lost pilot. Second Lieutenant David J. Mitchell of Toledo, Ohio a member of the 180th Fighter Wing was temporarily assigned to the 62nd Fighter Squadron, as part of his Basic Qualification Course within the Initial Pilot Training program.

62nd FS flies the block 25 variant of the F-16. The last crash from Luke occurred back on December 4, 2006, on a training mission about 85 miles south of the base. Two crew members of an F-16D, assigned to the same squadron, ejected safely.

This news article will be updated as new developments arise.

Additional images:

62nd Fighter Squadron (Jon Somerville collection)

USAF F-16C block 25 #84-1273 of the 62nd FS ready to launch at Luke AFB on June 5th, 2001. [Robs Aircraft Picture Library photo by John Smith]

112th FS Stingers (Martijn van Beilen Collection) 112th FS Stingers (Martijn van Beilen Collection)