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Mystery surrounds F-16, pilot in Iraq crash
Stars and Stripes ^ | November 29, 2006 | Joseph Giordono

Posted on 11/28/2006 5:07:50 PM PST by Jet Jaguar

Officials say jet belongs to New Mexico-based fighter wing, but all its pilots are accounted for.

The pilot of an F-16 that crashed Monday in Iraq’s Anbar province is officially listed as Duty Status Whereabouts Unknown, as defense officials confirmed that the plane — though not the pilot — was assigned to a squadron deployed to Iraq from New Mexico.

Pentagon officials have not confirmed broadcast reports and video and still images apparently showing the pilot’s body and parachute on the ground. The pilot’s body was apparently removed before U.S. forces arrived on the scene after the crash, officials said Tuesday.

Air Force officials at Central Command said they had seen a video from Al-Jazeera showing what was “purported to be the pilot’s body,” but the military said they could not authenticate or validate the footage.

The Associated Press reported Tuesday that videotape footage obtained by AP Television News appears to show the wreckage of a U.S. single-seat F-16CG jet in the farm field where it crashed Monday and the remains of an American serviceman with a tangled parachute nearby.

At a Pentagon press briefing Tuesday morning in Arlington, Va., spokesman Bryan Whitman offered no new details of the crash or the status of the pilot. Late Monday, a spokeswoman from Cannon Air Force Base, New Mexico, confirmed that the downed aircraft belonged to the 524th Fighter Squadron, 27th Fighter Wing, part of which is deployed to Balad Air Base, north of Baghdad.

But, Capt. Rebecca Garcia said, all of the wing’s pilots were accounted for.

It was unclear how often or why a pilot from another squadron would be flying an aircraft assigned to that wing, officials said.

Late Tuesday, a pair of insurgent groups in Iraq — the Mujahideen Army and the Mujahideen Shura Council — issued a joint statement claiming they had shot down the aircraft.

Earlier, the top military spokesman in Baghdad said it was unlikely that the plane had been shot down, citing the speed at which the jet normally operates and the lack so far of insurgent weapons capable of hitting a fighter jet.

The jet went down around 1:30 p.m. Monday in an empty field north of Fallujah. The Associated Press quoted one witness, who was interviewed by phone, as saying the plane had been flying erratically before it nose-dived into the field.

U.S. officials said other aircraft circled above the downed F-16 and observed insurgents move in on the crash site.

Reporters Jeff Schogol and Lisa Burgess contributed to this report from the Pentagon.


TOPICS: Foreign Affairs; Government; US: New Mexico; War on Terror
KEYWORDS: cannon; f16

1 posted on 11/28/2006 5:07:51 PM PST by Jet Jaguar
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To: Tijeras_Slim; CougarGA7; elkfersupper; CedarDave
Officials say jet belongs to New Mexico-based fighter wing, but all its pilots are accounted for.

You catch my drift.

2 posted on 11/28/2006 5:17:31 PM PST by martin_fierro (< |:)~)
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To: martin_fierro

Ummm...not yet..


3 posted on 11/28/2006 5:28:23 PM PST by Ecliptic (Keep looking to the sky)
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To: martin_fierro

So who was flying the jet? Was it stolen?


4 posted on 11/28/2006 5:32:56 PM PST by Valpal1 (Big Media is like Barney Fife with a gun.)
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To: martin_fierro
So the pilot is not from the New Mexico Wing now serving in Iraq. Do you suppose that the pilot went up for a qualification hop and bloopstered into a nose dive? Looks like your drift could be right, and there had to be a fail safe way to get rid of someone. Slept with someone's wife?

The pilot probably voted Democrap?

I sure hope this all is NOT the case, but something is starting to stink in Denmark.This IS a strange case.

5 posted on 11/28/2006 5:34:08 PM PST by Candor7 (Into Liberal flatulance goes the best hope of the West, and who wants to be a smart feller?)
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To: Jet Jaguar
Earlier, the top military spokesman in Baghdad said it was unlikely that the plane had been shot down, citing the speed at which the jet normally operates and the lack so far of insurgent weapons capable of hitting a fighter jet.

Sigh. I look at that and all I can think is "there are no SAMS at Tchepone."

6 posted on 11/28/2006 5:37:48 PM PST by Grut
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To: Jet Jaguar

Strange...

Could it have been an unmanned test?

The AF can't determine who was flying one of their $25 million jets?


7 posted on 11/28/2006 5:46:56 PM PST by ryan71 (You can hear it on the coconut telegraph...)
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To: ryan71

Interesting take.

I have read articles about unmanned fighter tests.


8 posted on 11/28/2006 5:54:41 PM PST by Jet Jaguar
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To: Jet Jaguar

"accounted for" does not equal "alive"


9 posted on 11/28/2006 6:23:54 PM PST by redlegplanner
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To: Jet Jaguar

F-16 Mishap News

USAF F-16 crashes in Iraq

November 27, 2006 (by Asif Shamim) - A U.S. F-16CG has crashed during operations north of Falluja in Iraq's western Anbar province. According to sources the pilot did not survive.

The F-16 (#90-0776), belonging to the 524th Fighter Squadron, was supporting coalition ground forces when it went down at about 13.35hrs, about 20 miles northwest of the capital Baghdad in Anbar province.

Military sources have only issued brief statements in which no information about the cause of the crash have been released. The status of the pilot is officially listed as “duty status: whereabouts unknown”.

However according to Reuters, a local journalist who shot film of the wreckage of the plane said he was in no doubt the pilot was dead. The film showed the bloodied and motionless body of what appeared to be a man in a flight suit wearing a parachute harness lying in a field strewn with the wreckage of the plane.

Cannon AFB officials have said the pilot was not from there air base. Public Informations Officer, Capt. Rebecca Garcia was quoted to have said “All of our Cannon pilots are accounted for”.

Eyewitness Mohammed Al-Obeidi, an Iraqi who lives in the nearby town of Karmah, said he saw the jet flying up and down erratically before it nose-dived and exploded in a farm field.

He said other U.S. warplanes rushed to the crash site and were circling around it.


10 posted on 11/28/2006 6:27:30 PM PST by Tinian
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To: redlegplanner

True. I saw the video of the canopy of the jet laying on the ground.

A good sign that the pilot did eject. I have not seen any other video. So my opinion would just be speculation.


11 posted on 11/28/2006 6:27:43 PM PST by Jet Jaguar
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To: Tinian

Thanks for the update.


12 posted on 11/28/2006 6:28:47 PM PST by Jet Jaguar
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To: Jet Jaguar
U.S. officials said other aircraft circled above the downed F-16 and observed insurgents move in on the crash site.

Observe? Why not KILL THEM?

13 posted on 11/28/2006 6:41:54 PM PST by SIDENET (Everybody was kung-fu fighting)
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To: ryan71

Think about it...an unmanned F-16?????


14 posted on 11/28/2006 6:45:35 PM PST by sissyjane (Don't be stuck on stupid!)
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To: Jet Jaguar
There are several fulltime staff assigned to the bases our aircraft fly from, who regularly fly with the squadrons that rotate through Iraq and elsewhere. They are fully qualified and current in the aircraft they fly and usually very experienced and highly qualified pilots.
15 posted on 11/28/2006 8:23:54 PM PST by Rokke
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To: martin_fierro

What was your drift?


16 posted on 11/28/2006 8:29:55 PM PST by SW6906 (6 things you can't have too much of: sex, money, firewood, horsepower, guns and ammunition.)
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To: martin_fierro

One of them little guys from Roswell was joyriding.


17 posted on 11/29/2006 5:43:39 AM PST by Tijeras_Slim
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To: ryan71

It's probably an air guard troop from one of the units cycling through. Units rarely deploy with only their planes. It's usually a mix from several units. My son got back from Balad in September. They were flying 16s from several units besides their own.


18 posted on 11/29/2006 5:54:16 AM PST by Himyar
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To: Candor7
The pilot probably voted Democrap?

What in the hell are you talking about?

19 posted on 11/29/2006 5:58:08 PM PST by TankerKC (I'm already visualizing the duct tape over your mouth!)
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To: Rokke

I know that, however, I was hesitant to post it without more info.


20 posted on 11/29/2006 6:23:43 PM PST by Jet Jaguar
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To: TankerKC
What in the hell are you talking about?>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

Only the shadow knows! :-)

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

21 posted on 11/29/2006 6:32:27 PM PST by Candor7 (Into Liberal flatulance goes the best hope of the West, and who wants to be a smart feller?)
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11/30/2006 - WASHINGTON (AFPN) -- Department of Defense officials announced today the identity of an Airman listed as duty status - whereabouts unknown.

Maj. Troy L. Gilbert was the pilot of an Air Force F-16 Fighting Falcon engaged in support of coalition ground combat operations that crashed approximately 20 miles northwest of Baghdad Nov. 27.

Major Gilbert is assigned to the 309th Fighter Squadron, Luke Air Force Base, Ariz. and currently deployed to the 332nd Air Expeditionary Wing, Balad Air Base, Iraq.

An investigation is ongoing.


22 posted on 12/01/2006 4:58:37 PM PST by Jet Jaguar
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To: Jet Jaguar

I just got a message that my cousin, a F16 pilot and Major at Luke AFB, was friends with Troy Gilbert. One of Troy's sons was born the same week as my cousin's son. Troy had five kids. Please pray for my cousin and the others who knew Troy because they are grieving now.

Last summer my cousin told me that if he ever got shot down, he would make sure that he wouldn't be in a place where the enemy might be able to torture him. He would simply fight back until they killed him.

I wonder if Troy had to do that?

Does any one know more about this case?


23 posted on 12/04/2006 8:58:03 PM PST by garjog (Used to be liberals were just people to disagree with. Now they are a threat to our existence.)
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To: garjog

Prayers up


24 posted on 12/04/2006 9:06:28 PM PST by stainlessbanner
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To: stainlessbanner

I found this on a Luke AFB news page.

FAMILY STATEMENT

The following is a statement from the Gilbert family to the Phoenix, West Valley community.

"Troy was first and foremost a wonderful husband and father. His Christian faith, personal values, and work ethic guided his personal life and his career as a military officer. He was highly respected by and deeply loved by so many. At the time of the tragedy during combat operations, he was unselfishly protecting the lives of other American military members. We, his family, cherish the worldwide prayers and support during this extremely difficult time."

TRUST FUND FOR GILBERTS ESTABLISHED

For members of the public interested in assisting the Gilbert family, Fighter Country Partnership, a community support organization for the men and women of Luke Air Force Base, has established a sub account under the 5013C Foundation for the Gilbert Family.

The title of this account is "The Gilbert Family." Interested members of the public may write a check to "The Gilbert Family" and drop the check off at any Credit Union West Branch or they can mail the check to Fighter Country Partnership at 500 North Estrella (estraya) Parkway, Suite B-2, PMB #479, Goodyear, Arizona, 85338. Fighter Country Partnership emphasizes that this may be a tax deductible donation. For more information, contact Steve Yamamori, FCP executive director, at (602) 369-3531.

For any member of the public using a financial institution outside Arizona, you can ask the financial institution for assistance in electronically wiring the funds directly to the Gilbert family account. For information on electronic wiring, financial institutions can contact Robin Reed at Credit Union West at (602) 631-3218 for more information, to include routing/account information.


25 posted on 12/04/2006 9:15:21 PM PST by garjog (Used to be liberals were just people to disagree with. Now they are a threat to our existence.)
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To: Jet Jaguar

Whatever happened to Captain Scott Speicher too btw?


26 posted on 12/04/2006 9:19:03 PM PST by KantianBurke
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To: trussell

prayers ping


27 posted on 12/05/2006 5:43:56 AM PST by stainlessbanner
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