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Fighter Jets Crash In California and Alabama, Killing One

July 7, 1989

MARCH AIR FORCE BASE, Calif. (AP) _ An Air National Guard fighter jet crashed and burned at the end of a runway just after takeoff Thursday, killing a man on the ground after the two-man crew ejected safely.

An Air Force fighter crashed in southwest Alabama and the pilot also safely ejected, the Air Force said.

In California, the F-4C Phantom jet took off at 1:06 p.m. on a routine training flight from this base 60 miles east of Los Angeles, California National Guard Col. Ralph Marinaro said in Sacramento.

″The plane was 100 to 200 feet off the ground when the wing dipped,″ Marinaro said. ″The pilot tried to compensate for it but wasn’t able to. The pilot and the crewman ejected. Both of them are alive.″

The unmanned jet then plummeted to the ground and struck a National Guard vehicle, killing one man, critically injuring another and slightly injuring a third, Marinaro said.

The dead and injured were not identified pending notification of relatives.

The Air Force F-15 jet crashed around 3 p.m. near Lamison, Ala., a community about 80 miles southwest of Montgomery, according to an Air Force statement.

The fighter, based with the 33rd Tactical Fighter Wing at Eglin Air Force Base in northwest Florida, was on a training mission when the crash occurred the Air Force said.

″The pilot did eject and he did get out of the plane OK,″ said Staff Sgt. David Beaulieu, a spokesman for the fighter wing at Eglin. ″As far as his condition, he’s OK.″

The pilot was the only person aboard.

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