Official: Iraqi pilot flying military plane in crash

Associated Press

Douglas, Ariz. — A spokesman for the Iraqi defense minister says an Iraqi pilot who has been training in the United States for four years was flying an F-16 Fighting Falcon aircraft that crashed in southern Arizona.

Iraq’s Defense Ministry and the Arizona Air National Guard didn’t have information on the fate of the pilot, who was the only person aboard when the plane went down during a Wednesday night training mission.

Brig. Gen. Tahseen Ibrahim, the ministry spokesman, says the Iraqi government has not heard what caused the crash.

A Guard statement says the pilot was flying with the 162nd Wing Arizona Air National Guard and rescuers have been sent to the crash site 5 miles east of Douglas Municipal Airport.

Cochise County sheriff’s spokeswoman Carol Capas says the crash started a grass fire.