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Published On: Wed, Sep 6th, 2017

Iraqi F-16 pilot involved in fatal crash in Arizona

nsnbc : The Iraqi Air Force confirmed that one of its pilots died in a crash while on a training flight in Arizona, USA. The U.S. F-16 warplane piloted by an Iraqi pilot crashed while on a training mission in open terrain in Arizona on Tuesday, the Iraqi Air Force announced in a statement on Wednesday. 

Photo courtesy Arizona Air National Guard 162nd Wing (archives)

Photo courtesy Arizona Air National Guard 162nd Wing (archives)

The pilot was identified as Capt. Noor Falih Hizam Rasn, who was described as professional and experienced. No further details were provided. P.J. Allred, an Arizona sheriff from Graham County, told the local Tucson newspaper that the incident involved the Arizona Air National Guard’s 162nd Wing.

The 162nd Wing reported that a pilot was killed when an F-16 Fighting Falcon crashed September 5, 2017, 20 miles northwest of Safford, Arizona. An Iraqi student pilot conducting a routine F-16 training mission in conjunction with the Arizona Air National Guard’s 162nd Wing in Tucson, Arizona went down at approximately 3 p.m., stated the Wing on its official website.

The pilot was flying an F-16 belonging to the Iraqi air force. The U.S. Air Force is training Iraqi pilots in F-16 fighters at the request of the Iraqi Government.  These fighter pilots are vital to their country’s defense.  The USAF has established an interim safety board to investigate the incident.

The 162nd Wing Public Affairs Office at 520-295-6192 will be the lead on all current information and the voicemail message will be updated as current information becomes available.

The crash site is near Fort Thomas, about 20 miles northwest of Safford, in Graham County, according to the newspaper. Pilots from Iraq, Singapore, Poland, Norway, Denmark, Oman, Belgium, and the Netherlands have trained at the air wing since 1990, the Arizona Daily Star reported.

The incident is being investigated by the US Air Force. The US-led Global Coalition against ISIS has provided training, advice, and assistance to Iraqi forces since the war with ISIS began in 2014.

F/AK – nsnbc 06.09.2017

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