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JUST IN: F-35 Fighter Jet Crashes Near New Mexico Airport, Pilot Injured

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A military aircraft crashed Tuesday near the Albuquerque International Sunport.

“Currently, numerous emergency crews are on the scene after a military F-35 fighter jet crashed at or near Albuquerque International Airport, causing a huge explosion with dust rising into the air. My self witnessed this crash after noticing a large fireball and black smoke rising in the sky, followed by dozens of emergency vehicles heading to the scene immediately I know something wasn’t right,” Rawsalerts wrote.

“Local media are reporting that the F-35 fighter jet appeared to have issues shortly after takeoff, but there is no official word yet on what caused the crash. The pilot reportedly ejected and is being treated for possible injuries,” the post added.

“I was casually relaxing and looking out my window when, next thing I know, an F-35 fighter jet crashes as we were on the runway waiting to take off,” Rawsalerts noted.

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From the Associated Press:

The pilot, the only person on board, was able to escape after crashing around 2 p.m. on the south side of the airport and was taken to a hospital with serious injuries, according to Albuquerque’s fire department. A video posted by the department on X showed a burn scar on a hillside.

Kirtland Air Force Base was leading the investigation into the crash. The base did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

It marks the second crash of a military plane in New Mexico in the past month. In April, an F-16 Fighting Falcon went down in a remote area near Holloman Air Force Base in the southern part of the state, leaving that pilot with minor injuries after he ejected from the aircraft.

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“Pilot was transported, categorized red, meaning he had some serious injuries, required immediate need for transport. There was two other civilians that were also assessed on scene. One was a patient refusal, and one was a non-patient for some of the debris that came across the road and that they were struck by,” said Albuquerque Fire Rescue Public Information Officer Lt. Jason Fejer, according to KRQE.

Per KRQE:

The Sunport says flights have resumed, but people need to check with their airline for flight status. Fejer said that the crash area on University Boulevard, north of Rio Bravo Boulevard, will be blocked off to allow the Federal Aviation Administration and Kirtland Air Force Base to investigate.

A large plume of black smoke could be seen following the crash. Fire crews extinguished the flames, Fejer added.

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