Aircraft Crashes at Holloman Air Force Base

F-16 Fighting Falcons sit on the runway at Holloman Air Force Base. (Air Force Photo)
F-16 Fighting Falcons sit on the runway at Holloman Air Force Base. (Air Force Photo)

An aircraft has crashed near Holloman Air Force Base, New Mexico, officials said Friday.

The 49th Wing confirmed that a manned aircraft crashed at approximately 11:45 a.m. local time at Red Rio Bombing Range, according to a news release. The range is 65 miles north of Holloman.

A spokesman for the wing told emergency services were on scene and that a pilot was on board. The pilot's condition was not disclosed.

"An investigation is underway to determine the cause of the incident," the release said.

The Red Rio Bombing Range encompasses approximately 196,000 acres on White Sands Missile Range.

It's not clear whether the crashed aircraft belongs to the Air Force.

While the base has housed MQ-9 Reaper remotely piloted aircraft since 2009, Holloman recently welcomed a few F-16 Fighting Falcons to be used for pilot training.

Also underway at Holloman is the Air Force "light attack" experiment, an element of the service's effort to procure a new fleet of lightweight, inexpensive aircraft.

The Air Force selected two aircraft, the Textron Aviation AT-6 Wolverine and the Sierra Nevada/Embraer A-29 Super Tucano, to undergo more demonstration fly-offs, among other tests, at Holloman earlier this year.

The demonstrations began May 7 and will run through July, with Air Force Secretary Heather Wilson and Chief of Staff Gen. David Goldfein expected to fly either or both aircraft at the base.

The German air force also trains its pilots at Holloman. The Luftwaffe, which flies Tornado aircraft at the western base, are expected to leave Holloman in 2019.

-- Oriana Pawlyk can be reached at Follow her on Twitter at @oriana0214.

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