HOLLOMAN AIR FORCE BASE, New Mexico – A U.S. Air Force F-16 Fighting Falcon crashed in White Sands National Park on Tuesday, April 30, after the sole onboard pilot ejected around 11:50am.

The pilot, who took off from the Holloman Air Force Base flying for the 49th Wing, was transported to medical care by ambulance. They were later released from a local hospital that same day, reportedly in good conditions.

The initial press release stated that the incident occurred near White Sands National Park, west of the Air Force base. However, a followup press release states that the crash did in fact occur within the park.

The park remained open to visitors throughout the day, but the area past mile marker 3 was closed for a period. An investigation is underway to determine the cause of the incident, lead by a board of qualified officers.

“I want to take the time to personally thank our partners in the local community—the White Sands National Park, New Mexico State Police, U.S. Customs and Border Protection, Otero County Sheriff’s Office Do and the U.S. Army Air Flight Detachment, for their support today. They were vital in the response efforts. On days like today, we are incredibly proud to be part of this amazing community.” – U.S. Air Force Col. Justin Spears, 49th Wing commander.

Related: Increase In Seismic Activity Leads To Closures In Hawi’i Volcanoes National Park

Image Credit: White Sands National Park

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