Local

F-16 Air National Guard jet crashes in Riverside County, pilot ejects safely

A California Air National Guard F-16 jet, like this one seen in an undated file photo taxiing at Fresno Yosemite International Airport, crashed Thursday, May 16, 2019 in Riverside County.
A California Air National Guard F-16 jet, like this one seen in an undated file photo taxiing at Fresno Yosemite International Airport, crashed Thursday, May 16, 2019 in Riverside County. Fresno Bee file

An F-16 returning to March Air Reserve Base in Moreno Valley crashed after its pilot ejected, base officials said Thursday.

Maj. Perry Covington, director of public affairs at the base, told The Associated Press that the pilot ejected before the crash Thursday and was not hurt. Covington said there were no injuries to personnel on the ground, either.

Officials said the jet was from the California Air National Guard. According to initial news reports, the jet and pilot were part of the Fresno-based 144th Fighter Wing.

The jet crashed into a building off the base, on Van Buren Boulevard near Interstate 215, about 3:45 p.m., said March Air Reserve Base Deputy Fire Chief Timothy Holliday.

The crash ignited a structure fire but it “wasn’t very big,” Holliday said.

Details on what the jet had been doing prior to the crash were not immediately available.

The 215 was closed in both directions an hour after the crash, according to California Highway Patrol logs. The CHP established a 2,000-foot perimeter around the crash site.

Fresno Bee Staff contributed to this report.

  Comments