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Iraqi Air Force F-16 crashed during night training mission

June 25, 2015 (by Anthony Cornelius / Lieven Dewitte) - An Iraqi F-16 assigned to the 162nd Wing, Arizona ANG, crashed sometime around 20.00h today, five miles east of Douglas Municipal Airport, while partaking in a night training mission. The Iraqi pilot, Brig. Gen. Rasid Mohammed Sidq, is believed to have been killed in this mishap.

IqAF F-16C block 52 #1609 is a jet like the aboce shown #1607.

The crash of the F-16 occurred near Douglas close to the border between Arizona and New Mexico. The jet is supposedly F-16C block 52 #1609 (RA-03) for the Iraq Air Force.

The crash sparked a brush fire that was burning next to a high-pressure gas line. Emergency personnel from the Fire Department was pulled back from the area due to the proximity of the gas line. Homes in the vicinity were being evacuated.

Operating out of Tucson National Airport, the 162nd Fighter Wing is the largest Air National Guard fighter wing in the USA, and has been training pilots since 1969. I also operates the Air Force's international F-16 training academy. The Wing averages 17,000 flying hours per year. Arizona has excellent year-round flying weather. Fewer than 3 percent of all scheduled sorties are canceled due to bad weather conditions.

The Iraq government ordered 36 F-16s and while delivery of them is on hold, the pilots who will fly them have been learning the ropes of the aircraft with the 162nd FW since 2012.

This is a developing story, we will update when more details are presented.

In Memoriam
Additional images:

A nighttime take-off with full afterburner. Note the sequence of the strobe lights. Also of the viper who left before this one (further in the sky). [Photo by Dirk Voortmans]

Iraqi Air Force F-16 Swirl [Codeone Magazine collection]