MILITARY

Flight restrictions over Hill Air Force Base canceled, investigation into F-35 crash continues

Oct 20, 2022, 4:42 PM
F35 crash...
An F-35 from the 388th crashed at the north end of the runway at Hill Air Force Base Wednesday evening. The pilot was able to eject. (Photo credit Tyler Okelberry)
(Photo credit Tyler Okelberry)

CLEARFIELD, Utah — The temporary flight restriction for Hill Air Force Base has been lifted, but representatives from the base said that nobody is taking off or landing today as an investigation continues into the crash that destroyed an F-35 Lightning II on Wednesday night.

The pilot reportedly ejected from the jet. Base officials said he was hospitalized for observation, was treated, and was released on Wednesday night. 

The crash happened while the pilot was in the landing phase of his flight.

“It was just at the north end of the runway, so coming back to land,” said a Hill Air Force Base official, “so as you can imagine, when we’re coming in to land we’re a little bit lower to the ground. That’s when it (the crash) occurred.”

There’s not much more being reported about why the jet crashed. But the investigation continues.

“Flying a military aircraft is a risky business that we all accept when we go do it,” said Col. Craig Andrle, the commander of the 388th Fighter Wing. ‘These things happen 

Utah Fire Info said the crash caused a brush fire that burned between eight and 10 acres. But it was quickly suppressed.

The crash also caused other F-35s from the 388th Fighter Wing to divert to Salt Lake City International Airport. They will reportedly return to the base soon.

Officials said the aircraft was totally destroyed. They said this was the first Air Force F-35A that has crashed at Hill Air Force Base. It was also the first crash at Hill sine an F-16 crash in 2009.

Air Force mishaps are investigated by a board of officers and an interim safety board has been established.

As the investigation continues, base officials ask residents to call them if they find anything in their yard that might be related to the crash. The number to call is 1-801-777-0911. Or send an email to 75abw.pa@us.af.mil, and include a name, address, telephone number, and any associated details.

Contributing: Adam Small and Kira Hoffelmeyer

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Flight restrictions over Hill Air Force Base canceled, investigation into F-35 crash continues