Wednesday, November 30, 2022

Thunderbirds F-16 crashes at Air Force Academy graduation near Colorado Springs

A General Dynamics F-16 Fighting Falcon #6 operated by the United States Air Force Thunderbirds force landed to high desert terrain south of City of Colorado Springs Municipal Airport/Peterson Air Force Base (KCOS), Colorado Springs, Colorado during a flyover in celebration of Air Force Academy graduation.

The pilot ejected prior to ground contact. The airplane sustained substantial damage and the sole pilot onboard was not injured.

The pilot of a plane that crash-landed near Security-Widefield Thursday was not injured, according to Air Combat Command, accordint to KRDO.


The plane crashed in a field near S. Powers Boulevard and Fontaine Boulevard.

Despite the crash, the plane is intact and did not start a fire.

A source tells KRDO NewsChannel 13 that there are no signs of foul play and terrorism is not suspected as a cause.

The source says the jets are built with secret technology, and the Air Force will be careful to make sure each and every piece that may have shaken loose from the plane is recovered.

The source says the pilot intentionally went down in an open field to avoid any homes, businesses or schools.

The Thunderbirds were performing in the area for the Air Force Academy graduation at the time of the incident.

There are road closures in the area of the crash, including eastbound Fontaine Boulevard at S. Powers Boulevard and Powers Boulevard between Snuffels and Bradley.

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About this Author

Dylan Malyasov
Defense journalist and commentator. Aviation photographer. Dylan leads Defence Blog's coverage of global military news, focusing on engineering and technology across the U.S. defense industry.