MADRID (AP) — An F-18 fighter jet crashed Tuesday at an air base outside Madrid, killing its pilot, the Spanish Defense Ministry said.

A ministry spokesman said the jet crashed at the Torrejon de Ardoz base outside Madrid during takeoff. No one else was on the plane at the time.

Defense Minister Maria Dolores de Cospedal said the accident was being investigated. She said the plane did not "have sufficient power" to take off, but did not elaborate.

The ministry named the pilot as 26-year-old Fernando Perez Serrano.

Television images showed a massive cloud of smoke rising from the base area.

It was the second air force accident in less than a week. Last Thursday, a Eurofighter pilot died while maneuvering to land at a base in southeastern Spain after taking part in a military parade in Madrid.