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National Guard Fighter Crashes on Training Mission

November 27, 1996

RARDEN, Ohio (AP) _ A National Guard F-16D fighter plane crashed in a remote section of forest Wednesday, but both pilots ejected safely and walked to a farmhouse to report the accident.

The cause of the crash had not been determined, said Ohio National Guard Maj. Jim Boling.

It was the second crash this month involving the $12.8 million F-16, one of the most heavily used U.S. military aircraft. On Nov. 20, an F-16 pilot ejected before his fighter crashed in a field in Skiatook, Okla.

In Wednesday’s crash, the two-seat F-16D crashed in Brush Creek State Forest, in an area of southern Ohio where training flights are conducted at altitudes below 5,000 feet, Boling said. He said it did not carry any live weapons.

The plane was part of the 178th Fight Wing of the Air National Guard at Springfield, said spokesman Lt. Col. Gene Brandewie.

The pilots were examined at Pike Community Hospital, said hospital spokeswoman Linda James.

``Not a scratch on them,″ she said.

During fiscal year 1996, which ended in October, the Air Force said eight F-16s crashed. In March, a craft from Springfield went down in Michigan; the pilot ejected safely.

The Air Force flies 800 F-16s, while its National Guard has 630 and reserve units have 150, said Maj. Wes Davis, an Air Force spokesman in Washington.

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