U.S. Pilot Killed in F-16 Crash
IN EASTERN SAUDI ARABIA (AP) _ A U.S. Air Force F-16 fighter has crashed in northeastern Saudi Arabia while on a night training mission, killing the pilot, the military said today.
The ″Fighting Falcon″ jet crashed at 8:45 p.m. Tuesday, said Air Force spokesman Capt. Raymond Martell.
He said the cause of the crash was not known, but the accident would be investigated by a board of officers. The jet was attached to the 4th Tactical Fighter Squadron based at Hill Air Force Base, Utah.
The name of the pilot was withheld pending notification of next of kin.
It was the first fatal crash of an American military aircraft in Operation Desert Shield since Dec. 19, when four were killed when their Navy helicopter from the USS Tripoli crashed en route to the Persian Gulf.
The last Air Force crash in Saudi Arabia itself occurred on Oct. 10. The two-man crew of an F-111 fighter-bomber died in a crash during a low-level training flight.
Tuesday’s crash brought to 35 the number of American servicemen killed in Operation Desert Shield aircraft. Seven deaths occurred in Saudi Arabia.
Ninety-seven U.S. military personnel have died since the operation began on Aug. 7. Fifty-six of the deaths occurred in the gulf region, mostly in accidents.