F-16 fighter jet crashes 6 miles from Joint Base Andrews; pilot parachutes to safety
F-16 crashes near homes in Clinton
CLINTON, Md. (ABC7) — An F-16 military aircraft crashed in Clinton, Md. about six miles from Joint Base Andrews Wednesday morning. Officials said that the pilot parachuted out of the aircraft.
Joint Base Andrews confirmed it was an F-16 pilot from D.C. Air National Guard's 113th Fighter Wing.
Wednesday afternoon, officials took questions about the incident, carried live on ABC7's Facebook page:
The pilot is said to have non-life threatening injuries and was taken to a hospital in "good condition," according to the Prince George's County Fire Department.
Luis Martinez, ABC News Pentagon producer, reports that the F-16 had live ammunition aboard, including machine gun bullets, according to Master Sergeant Craig Clapper, spokesman for the 113th Fighter Wing. The rounds can be used at a live range, Clapper said, but today the aircraft was on a routine training mission to practice air maneuvers and not headed to a firing range.
The F-16 that went down was one of four that had just taken off together from Joint Base Andrews to carry out the air maneuvers, Clapper said. The F-16 went down shortly after takeoff.
The pilot managed to steer the fighter jet away from homes and buildings in the area, Clapper said.
Asked about a helicopter at the scene, Clapper said that helicopter was bringing personnel to the site and had nothing to do with the original training mission.
According to the base, the crash took place at around 9:15 a.m. while the jet was participating in a training mission with other D.C. Air National Guard aircraft about six miles from the base.
Here is video of the pilot descending to the ground in his parachute after ejecting from the plane.
Here is raw video of the scene of the crash after the pilot got to the ground.
Prince George's County Fire officials say the jet had dummy rounds with gunpowder loads but no bullets. Fire crews are currently on the scene.
The crash took place near Temple Hills Rd. and Woodells Ct., according to PG Fire.
A press conference on the crash is being held at 3:30 p.m. at Andrews Golf Course.
Prince George's County police reported there might be "lengthy" road closures because of the crash investigation. Temple Hill Road has since been reopened.
Prince George's County officials are asking anyone who finds pieces of the jet to not move any of it but call Joint Base Andrews at 240-612-4428 & 4430
Prince George’s County Councilman Mel Franklin released the following statement in regards to the crash:
“I am closely monitoring the crash of the military aircraft in Clinton just a few miles from Joint Base Andrews. I am pleased to hear that the pilot parachuted to safety with only non-life threatening injuries with no one hurt on the ground and that the crash occurred in a largely wooded area. Nonetheless, I know that the residents that I represent in Clinton are alarmed by this accident and I encourage the affected residents to follow the direction of public safety personnel at the scene. Per the guidance of our public safety officers, if anyone in the community finds what they believe to be a part of the aircraft, do not touch or move it but please call Joint Base Andrews at 240-857-8685. Let’s continue to keep all of our military personnel and their families in our thoughts and prayers.”
Officials at Joint Base Andrews are warning those in the area of the crash who find target practice projectiles to immediately report it to the authorities at 301-981-2002.
The PGU-27A/B Electrically Fired 20MM Target Practice Projectiles have blue tips with a brass body. They contain a quantity of propellant but are generally safe to be around, officials say.
They should not be exposed to electromagnetic radiation, cell phones, radios or other electronic devices, officials say.
Officials also say not to touch or move the rounds.