Fighter jet crashed into California Air Reserve base warehouse

Evarado Alatorre
May 18, 2019

An F-16 crashed into March Reserve Air Force Base in Riverside, California on Thursday, causing the pilot to eject to safety.

Lee went on to tell reporters, "As soon as I saw it begin tilting, the pilot ejected", Lee said.

The pilot ejected before the aircraft hit the building at around 3.30pm on Thursday and was not hurt, according to the director of public affairs at the nearby March Air Reserve Base, Major Perry Covington.

A dozen people were hosed down and taken to hospitals, and there were no major injuries, state fire Capt. Fernando Herrera said.

The base's fire department responded to the crash along with the Riverside police and Riverside County Sheriff's Department.

Later, officials said as many as 12 people were treated at the scene but some only had minor cuts.

Footage posted on Twitter showed the moment a worker ran to survey the damage, with light streaming in through the damaged warehouse roof and debris surrounding the plane on the ground.

The sprinkler system doused a small fire started as a result of the crash and a specialized team will work to secure the jet, the Associated Press reported.

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Live video from a news helicopter showed that the plane appeared to have crashed upon landing. The jet plowed through the roof of a large warehouse near the base.

The crash happened at about 15:45 local time (23:45 GMT) outside the March Air Reserve Base in Perris.

'The pilot was having hydraulic problems, ' Holliday said. 'He started losing control of the aircraft'.

The fire was "not very big", Holliday told the paper.

The F-16 was under the direction of the North American Aerospace Defense Command.

Fighter jets are a rarity at March Air Reserve, which is home to the 452nd Air Mobility Wing, an Air Force Reserve which uses the big C-17 transports, KC-135 refueling tankers and C-130 transports.

The unit flying the alert mission was a combination of pilots and aircraft from California and South Dakota Air National Guard units.

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