Bird may have brought down F-16 near Luke Air Force Base

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by The Associated Press

azfamily.com

Posted on June 27, 2013 at 9:53 PM

Updated Tuesday, Jul 2 at 12:13 PM

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GLENDALE, Ariz. (AP) -- The Air Force says an F-16 fighter jet that went down near Luke Air Force Base in suburban Phoenix most likely hit a bird.
 
Two pilots who were practicing landings and takeoffs at the base Wednesday evening ejected safely and the fighter crashed in a farm field near the base.
 
Base spokeswoman Lt. Candice Dillitte said Thursday that there's nothing to indicate a fleet-wide problem with the jets. The Air Force operates more than 1,000 of the single-engine fighters.
 
The base 15 miles west of Phoenix in Glendale, Ariz., trains pilots and has more than 130 F-16s.
 
Witnesses say the plane's engine was popping after it took off from the base and they watched as the pilots ejected.
 
Bird strikes can severely damage jet engines.
 

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