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F-16 Fighting Falcon crashes on takeoff at Afghanistan air base, Pentagon says

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BAGRAM, Afghanistan, March 29 (UPI) — A U.S. Air Force fighter jet crashed during takeoff Tuesday evening near an air base in Afghanistan, the Department of Defense said.

The Pentagon said the F-16 Fighting Falcon went down during the pilot’s takeoff attempt at Bagram Airfield, which is located about 30 miles north of Kabul.

Defense officials said the pilot, who is assigned to the 455th Air Expeditionary Wing, safely ejected and was recovered by coalition forces. He is being evaluated by medical personnel.

The cause of the crash was not immediately known.

The Fighting Falcon, manufactured by General Dynamics, is a single-engine, single occupant fighter jet that’s been used by the Air Force since 1978.

Bagram is mainly used by Afghan forces but is occasionally utilized by the U.S. military.

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