US F-16 Crashes in Germany

Fighter Jet Crashes Near Trier, Pilot in Hospital

A USAF F-16 fighter jet crashed Tuesday near the city of Trier in western Germany, the German air force told AFP, with the pilot surviving after using the ejector seat.

The aircraft was assigned to the 480th Fighter Squadron, 52nd Fighter Wing, Spangdahlem Air Base, Germany.

After multiple emergency calls around 3:15 pm local time, emergency services reached the scene near the village of Zemmer, police said in a statement.

The pilot was taken to hospital. Police said it was not immediately clear how seriously he was injured in the crash.

Authorities blocked off a large zone around the crash site including several roads, the police statement added, urging drivers to avoid the area.

A spokesman for the nearby US military airbase at Spangdahlem told AFP he had no further information about the crash, its causes or the health of the pilot.

Germany is no stranger to military aircraft crashes, including in its own shortage-plagued Bundeswehr armed forces.

In June this year, two of the air force’s Eurofighter jets crashed after colliding in mid-air in northeastern Germany.

One of the pilots was killed, while the other ejected to safety.

Less than a week later, a helicopter pilot died when his aircraft crashed near an army training centre.

The last American military crash in Germany dates back to 2015, when one of the Spangdahlem base’s F-16 fighters went down in northern Bavaria.

In that incident, the pilot surviving after ejecting from the plane.

Spangdahlem is currently in a Real World Lockdown and all traffic on and off base is halted while the incident is investigated.

Source: DefenseTalk; Staff Reports, 52nd Fighter Wing Public Affairs

Image: Pilots from Shaw Air Force Base, S.C., and Spangdahlem Air Base, Germany wait for take off while pre-flight checks are performed on their aircraft on the flightline at Nellis Air Force Base, Nev., July 23, 2015. Units from around the world came to experience and participate in the best training they can receive in the air, space and cyberspace realm of operations. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Jake Carter)

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