United States Air Force launches investigation into F-22A Raptor crash at Naval Air Station Fallon
The United States Air Force is investigating the cause of a Friday afternoon crash that involved an F-22A Raptor assigned to Elmendorf Air Force Base’s 3rd Wing, the largest and principal unit within 11th Air Force.
Elmendorf merged with nearby Fort Richardson in 2010 to form Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson near Anchorage, Alaska. The pilot was at Naval Air Station Fallon performing an adversary role at the Naval Aviation Warfighting Development Center, formerly called Naval Strike and Air Warfare Center or NSAWC.
Master Sgt. Joshua Jasper of the Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson Media Center told the Lahontan Valley News Monday afternoon an investigation has begun on the crash, which happened on the main north-south runway. A social media site shows photographs of the F22A-Raptor on its belly with the landing gear retracted.
According to an eyewitness who posted on social media, “The slide happened on takeoff. It appears to have been a left engine flameout when the pilot throttled up to take off. By the time he realized the engine was dead, he had already been airborne for a few seconds and raised the gear. The jet bounced for around 1,500 feet, and then slid for about 5,000 feet. They got it off the ground and on its landing gear last night, so the runway is clear.”
The military reported no injuries and has not released the pilot’s name or specific unit in the 3rd Wing. Jasper would not speculate on a cause.
Based on previous incidents not involving Navy aircraft, NAS Fallon will provide assistance and support, but the investigation belongs to the parent unit. This protocol last occurred in 2014 when a U.S. Marine pilot died after his F/A-18C Hornet crashed on a training range 140 miles east of NAS Fallon in the Monitor Range. The Marine jet was on loan to Top Gun.
The pilot, a student at NAWDC, was permanently stationed at Marine Corps Air Station Iwakuni.
This is the first crash since 2016 at NAS Fallon when an F/A-18C Hornet went down on Aug. 2 about 10 miles southeast of the air station. The pilot ejected safely from the aircraft and was transported to Banner Churchill Community Hospital.
The aircraft was on a routine training flight in the local area and was returning to base when the crash occurred. The Hornet was on temporary assignment to Strike Fighter Wing Pacific Detachment Fallon from Marine Strike Fighter Squadron (VMFA) 232 for a scheduled training assignment.