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F-16 fighter jet piloted by son of Oklahoma AG candidate crashes in Louisiana; Pilot ejects safely

An F-16 Fighting Falcon fighter jet piloted by the son of an Oklahoma attorney general candidate crashed in rural Louisiana on Wednesday during a training exercise.

Gentner Drummond, a former Air Force captain and Republican seeking the state’s top law firm earlier, said in a Facebook post that the plane was piloted by his son, Alexander , an Oklahoma Air National Guard captain who ejected before the crash. .

“I am grateful today that God is watching over my son,” Drummond wrote. “Some of you may remember that Alexandre is a fighter pilot, just like me when I was young. This morning he had to do something that I have never done: eject from his F-16 before it crashed.”

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The F-16 belonged to the Tulsa Vipers, part of the Oklahoma Air National Guard’s 138th Fighter Wing.

A statement from the Oklahoma Air National Guard said the pilot was on a routine training mission from Joint Reserve Base Ellington Field, Texas.

At approximately 11:15 a.m. local time, Louisiana State Police in Beauregard Parish received reports that a plane had crashed in a wooded area about 150 miles from the base in Texas.

Derek Senegal of Louisiana State Police D Troop said the pilot was safe and had been picked up by service personnel from Fort Polk, Louisiana, a nearby military base.

“The pilot was able to eject but was flown back to Fort Polk for medical evaluation,” Senegal told Military.com.

Senegal added that there was no smoke or fire when the plane crashed.

Lt. Col. Geoffrey J. Legler, spokesman for the Oklahoma Military Department, said in a statement that there were no civilian casualties on the ground.

“Air Force and civilian emergency first responders responded immediately to the scene of the crash and have reported no injuries at this time,” Legler said in the statement.

Drummond said his son is receiving medical attention and is expected to make a full recovery.

“When you serve in the military, you put your life on the line day in and day out, whether our country is at war or not,” Drummond wrote. “As an American, I thank my son for his service and commitment to fighting for our freedom.”

Wednesday’s crash is the latest training incident involving a fighter jet on US soil.

Last month, a Mirage F1 fighter jet from Luke Air Force Base in Arizona crashed in the desert near a retirement community.

Earlier this month, a Marine F-18 Hornet crashed and exploded on the family plantation of a former South Carolina governor.

— Thomas Novelly can be contacted at [email protected] Follow him on Twitter @TomNovelly.

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