Losses and Aviation Safety

IT WAS AN IRAQI AIR FORCE F-16 THAT CRASHED IN ARIZONA YESTERDAY

This is the second Iraqi Air Force F-16 to crash in Arizona: the first incident occurred on Jun. 27, 2015 when an Iraqi F-16 on a night training crashed killing its pilot

As we have reported yesterday, on Sep. 5, 2017 an F-16 went down near Safford Arizon.

Now the Arizona Air National Guard says in a news release appeared on Alert 5 Weblog that the F-16 involved in the incident was a Iraqi Air Force jet.

As explained in the news release “A pilot was killed when an F-16 Fighting Falcon crashed Sep. 5, 2017, 20 miles northwest of Safford, Arizona.

An Iraqi student pilot conducting a routine F-16 training mission in conjunction with the Arizona Air National Guard’s 162nd Wing in Tucson, Arizona went down at approximately 3 p.m.

The pilot was flying an F-16 belonging to the Iraqi Air Force. The U.S. Air Force (USAF) is training Iraqi pilots in F-16 fighters at the request of Iraqi Government. These fighter pilots are vital to their country’s defense.

The USAF has established an interim safety board to investigate the incident.”

Noteworthy this is the second Iraqi Air Force F-16 to crash in Arizona: the first incident occurred on Jun. 27, 2015 when an Iraqi F-16 on a night training crashed killing its pilot (actually Brig. Gen. Rasid Mohammed Sadiq).

The Iraqi Air Force ordered 36 F-16s in 2009: named F-16IQs (with IQ standing for Iraq) these aircraft are F-16C/D Block 52s the first of which was delivered to Iraq on Jun. 5, 2014, making Iraqi Air Force the 28th air arm to receive the F-16. The fighter was the first of six two-seat D-models. F-16IQs can be armed with AIM-9L/M Siderwinder and AIM-7 Sparrow air-to-air missiles, AGM-65 Maverick air-to-ground missiles, and Paveway guided bombs.

Due to advances made by Islamic State militants in mid-2014 which forced the evacuation of contractors from Balad Air Base, Iraqi F-16s were sent to Tucson, Arizona, where Iraqi pilots trained on their aircraft.

Photo credit: Lockheed Martin

Dario Leone

Dario Leone is an aviation, defense and military writer. He is the Founder and Editor of “The Aviation Geek Club” one of the world’s most read military aviation blogs. His writing has appeared in The National Interest and other news media. He has reported from Europe and flown Super Puma and Cougar helicopters with the Swiss Air Force.

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