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Air Guard Fighter Crashes Near Madison Airport; Pilot OK

March 30, 1994

MADISON, Wis. (AP) _ An Air National Guard fighter jet ran off the end of a runway and burst into flames Wednesday after its pilot was unable to stop the craft and ejected. The pilot survived.

The single-seat F-16 experienced problems on a training mission and the pilot was trying to land it at Dane County Regional Airport, said Capt. David Olson, a spokesman for the Wisconsin Air National Guard’s 128th Tactical Fighter Wing.

A cockpit instrument indicated an engine problem, Olson said. Airport workers raised a cable designed to snag the plane by its tail hook, but that failed. The plane ran into a restraining barrier a short distance past the south end of the runway.

Damage on the ground was contained to the plane. With crowded roads and a technical college nearby, ″it could have been much worse,″ police spokeswoman Dorothy Doheny said.

The pilot, Michael Wahlin, 27, of Stoughton, was taken to a hospital for injuries including broken bones.

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