An F-16 Fighting Falcon fighter jet crashed Tuesday night in Afghanistan shortly after taking off north of Kabul at Bagram Airfield, but the pilot ejected and has been safely recovered, military officials said.
The incident occurred about 8:30 p.m. in Afghanistan, said Pentagon press secretary Peter Cook. Coalition troops responded and retrieved the pilot and were securing the crash site north of the airfield, said Capt. Bryan Bouchard, an Air Force spokesman on the base. The pilot was under evaluation Tuesday evening at Craig Joint Theater Hospital on the base.
It is not believed that the plane was hit with any kind of enemy fire, Bouchard said. The cause of the crash is under investigation, but it is not believed that there were any casualties on the ground as a result of the downed aircraft, he said.
The single-man jets typically fly in pairs, providing close air support and aerial reconnaissance for ground troops.