Military jet crashes after taking off from Joint Base Andrews

by Fox News

A military fighter jet that left Joint Base Andrews crashed about six miles southwest of the base, officials say.

US Air Force officials told Fox News that an F-16 from D.C. Air National Guard went down around 9:15 a.m. south of National Harbor in Maryland near Andrews Air Force Base.

The pilot inside ejected safely and was taken to a local hospital with non-life threatening injuries.

"The pilot ejected safely in an unpopulated area. More information will be provided as it's available," a US Air Force official told Fox News.

Prince George's County fire department spokesman Mark Brady told WRC-TV that one pilot parachuted out of the aircraft and was picked up by a military helicopter. He said the pilot was found in the same general area as the plane.

In a statement, D.C. Air National Guard officials said the aircraft was flying along a second jet in a “routine training mission” around the greater Washington area.

Brady said homes in the area are being evacuated. He said there are no other reports of injuries.

Witness recounts F-16 crash near Joint Base Andrews

A witness told Fox 5 DC/WTTG that he was sitting on his porch when he heard a loud explosion. He said the jet was on fire and he saw the pilot eject.

“It was the biggest fire ball I’ve ever seen in my life,” Patrick Dotson said.

He said he ran into the woods after the plane crashed and saw the pilot standing up. Dotson said the pilot asked if the neighborhood was OK because he had live rounds on board.

Air Force official have not confirmed if there was live ammunition on board the place.

Since 9/11, there is always at least one F-16 on eight minute alert status to take off in the case of emergency.

Wednesday's incident marked the sixth U.S. military non-combat aviation crashes since January 2017. The most recent was on Mar. 14 when three service members assigned to a special operations unit were killed after a single-engine reconnaissance and surveillance plane crashed in eastern New Mexico during a training flight, the Air Force said.

Fox News' Lucas Tomlinson and the Associated Press contributed to this report.

Written by News Desk

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