An F-16 aircraft taking part in a routine training mission crashed Wednesday morning in Beauregard Parish; the pilot walked away without major injury.
Louisiana State Police confirmed the crash occurred near Betrand Road, south of DeRidder.
Oklahoma Air National Guard says the F-16 aircraft was assigned to the 138th Fighter Wing of the Oklahoma Air National Guard in Tulsa. Officials have confirmed that the aircraft departed from Ellington Field Joint Reserve Base in Texas as part of a training mission.
The pilot safely ejected before the crash and is okay, according to officials. The pilot was picked up by military personnel and had no serious injuries.
The pilot was identified as Alexander Drummond by his father, Gentner Drummond, a candidate for Oklahoma Attorney General.
The younger Drummond was piloting the jet on a training flight in Beauregard Parish when it crashed about 11:15 a.m. Wednesday, Gentner Drummond said in a statement to KJRH in Tulsa.
Alexander Drummond was able to safely eject from the jet before the crash to avoid serious ground injuries and is "receiving outstanding medical care and is expected to make a full recovery," the newspaper reported.
“The Air Force pilot in me wants all the details of exactly what happened, but it’s way too early for that," Gentner Drummond told the paper. "What I know at this point is that during a training run over Louisiana, Alexander had to ditch his F-16 in an empty Beauregard Parish field, sparing any injuries on the ground."
The jet is assigned to the Tulsa-based 138th Fighter Wing of the Oklahoma Air National Guard, but the jet and Alexander Drummond were taking part in a routine training mission in Louisiana that departed from Ellington Field Joint Reserve Base in Texas.
Fort Polk spokesperson Kavanaugh Breazeale told local media the crash site is in an open area with a few trees. They say there are no homes in the area and no animals. "It may have hurt a little dirt. We are glad the pilot is safe," Breazeale said.
Fort Polk was alerted by the Sheriff's Office after the crash occurred. Until the Air Force arrives, the Fort Polk incident team will manage the site.
The crash is under investigation and additional details will be provided once released by the Air Force.
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