A scary moment at EAA AirVenture in Oshkosh Thursday as an F-16 fighter jet slid off the runway and crashed into the grass.All morning you could see and hear two F-16 fighter jets tearing through the sky.Just after 11 A.M., as the two Alabama Air Guard jets were coming in, one of those seemed to be going too fast to stop in time and ran out of runway.Witnesses said it looked like trouble from the moment the jet touched down.
“I just saw the one previous come through taxi pretty slow. He came past so fast and I thought oh no, this is not going to be good,” Ed Knutson said.
“It seemed like he was coming in a little hot. I didn’t think too much of it until I realized how close he was to the end of the runway,” Mike Crotteau said.
The jet hit the grass nose down and smoking, coming very close to some old Warbird planes.
“I realized how close it was to the other Warbirds, so that would have been quite a marriage if it would have gone and taken some of those airplanes out,” Knutson said.
The pilot managed to escape the jet and jog away from it under his own power.
“Pilot got out and was walking around the north runway. He was fine,” EAA’s Dick Knapinski said. “He was taken for observation, as is usual procedure in these things.”
What caused the jet to crash is unclear.
Crotteau said, “I did hear somebody else say they didn’t see any evidence of brake smoke so it almost seemed like maybe he had a brake failure or something.
The investigation won’t be handled by the National Transportation Safety Board because this is an Air Force jet. Instead, it’ll be conducted by the Department of Defense.
“The Civil Air Patrol is out there and they set up the perimeter around the airplane, and then an Air Force team will begin the investigation and move the aircraft,” Knapinski said