Friday night we got our first look at what's left of an F-22 Raptor after it crashed at Tyndall Air Force Base and then caught on fire.
The $150,000,000 fighter jet went down arounf 3:30 p.m. Thursday, a quarter mile east of the drone runway.
The pilot, assigned to the 43rd Fighter Squadron, was conducting a routine training mission and was on his way back to base. He ejected safely, but not before making sure the plane would not hit an occupied area.
Today we learned the pilot was able to alert the base about a problem with the plane, via an inflight emergency call. Because of that, firefighters were on scene within two minutes of the crash.
“Our first responders reacted quickly and professionally due to the extensive training we conduct here at Tyndall,” said Col. David Graff, 325th Fighter Wing commander. “In addition, the pilot received top-notch care from our medical group.”
Explosive ordnance disposal Airmen than began a sweep by for any parts of the aircraft that may be explosive.
The Air Force also warned people in the immediate area to stay inside as a safety precaution. Like most modern aircraft, the F-22 is made of composite fibers, which can create health concerns when the plane catches fire. Tyndall first responders will continue to wear protective gear until the immediate site of the crash is deemed safe.
All evidence will be photographed and tagged so it can be analyzed by the safety investigation board members who will try to determine the cause of the crash.