LUKE AIR FORCE BASE, AZ (CBS5) - An F-16 fighter jet on a routine training mission crashed in a field near Luke Air Force Base early Wednesday evening.
Both pilots ejected safely, officials said.
A Rural Metro crew stationed near Luke saw the crash. They picked up the pilots who were walking down a farm road and took them to the hospital. The pilots, whose names were not released, are expected to be OK.
Witnesses said they heard the engine sputtering and popping just before the aircraft went down a little before 7 p.m. The jet is with the 309th Fighter Squadron.
"The jet exploded. It went boom," said witness Eva DelaCruz who lives near the base. "It exploded again and we looked up and saw the jet with a lot of flames. Like a lot of fire and I said that's not normal because we see jets left and right."
Another witness said the pilots ejected shortly after the plane took off to the south. The plane flew unmanned for about a minute before crashing to the ground just outside the fence of the base.
"We were the first ones there before anybody else," recounted DelaCruz. "And my grandsons ran across the field to look at the guys and they said one was hurt, was bleeding from the nose."
In a statement, Luke AFB officials reported both pilots were uninjured. A spokesman for Rural/Metro told CBS5 one of the pilots was complaining of back pain.
Helicopter footage showed plumes of smoke rising from the crash scene near Glendale Avenue and Sarival Road, about two to three miles west of the base.
Maricopa County sheriff's deputies have closed nearby roadways.
The Air Force will conduct a thorough investigation to determine the cause of the accident
Email Alert Sign Up
Sign up here to receive breaking news stories from KSWT.com and morning updates to your email inbox.
YUMA, Ariz. (13 On Your Side) – A man is facing first degree murder charges in connection to a San Luis stabbing that left one man dead and another wounded. Salvador Sigala, accused of stabbing a 25-year-oldMore >>
A man is facing first degree murder charges in connection to a San Luis stabbing that left one man dead and another wounded.More >>
BLYTHE, Calif. — U.S. Border Patrol agents from the Blythe Station found multiple weapons during a traffic stop. Agents pulled over a 2013 Ford Taurus near Blythe, Calif., and got consent to search theMore >>
U.S. Border Patrol agents from the Blythe Station found multiple weapons during a traffic stop.More >>
How to find KSWT-TV CBS System Channel Antenna (over the air) 13.1 Time Warner Cable 13 HD - Time Warner Cable 713 HD - Dish Network 13 Beam Speed(Welton) 13 Megacable - San Luis R.C. 91 Cablemas - MexicaliMore >>
Click here to view our 2012 - 2013 KSWT TV CBS 13 NFL Football schedule.More >>
EL CENTRO, CALIF. (13 On Your Side) - Officials have released some of the names of the people arrested during Wednesday's massive drug trafficking bust in Imperial Valley. But as we previously reported,More >>
Officials have released some of the names of the people arrested during Wednesday's massive drug trafficking bust in Imperial Valley.More >>
On December 4, 2013, at 02:30 pm, Elizabeth Romero was abducted from Kennewick, Washington. Elizabeth Romero a 14 year old, Hispanic, female, 5 feet 3 inches tall, weighing 130 pounds, brown hair, andMore >>
The suspect is Eduardo Flores-Rosalas, a 19 year old, Hispanic, male, 5 feet 9 inches tall, weighing 200 pounds, with black hair, brown eyes, unknown clothing.
YUMA, Ariz. (13 On Your Side) – In a massive drug sting aimed at one of the most powerful Mexican drug cartels, the Imperial Valley Narcotics Task force arrested ten drug smugglers trafficking meth andMore >>
In a massive drug sting aimed at one of the most powerful Mexican drug cartels, the Imperial Valley Narcotics Task force arrested ten drug smugglers trafficking meth and cocaine across the border from Mexicali.More >>
TEMECULA, Calif. (AP) - A Riverside County father and teen daughter have each been placed on four years' probation after pleading guilty to charges in a vigilante attack on a man the girl had accused ofMore >>
The girl claimed Cruz raped her in November 2012 after she passed out after drinking alcohol at his home.More >>
MESA, Ariz. (AP) - Detectives with the Arizona Department of Public Safety say they have uncovered an ecstasy manufacturing operation inside a student apartment at Arizona State University. The bust stemsMore >>
Detectives found 30 pounds of product used to make ecstasy pills in the apartment along with thousands of pills and a motorized pill press.More >>