Arizona Air National Guard F-16 crashes, pilot killed

An investigation has been launched.

ByABC News
September 6, 2017, 1:51 AM

— -- An F-16 fighter jet with the Arizona Air National Guard crashed Tuesday afternoon in southeastern Arizona, officials said.

A male pilot died in the crash, the Graham County Sheriff's Department said Tuesday night. The Arizona Air National Guard has yet to comment on the status of the pilot.

A statement posted late Tuesday afternoon on the Facebook page of the Arizona Air National Guard's 162nd Wing, of which the F-16 Fighting Falcon is based out of, read, "Rescue efforts are underway and the status of the pilot is unknown at this time."

The crash happened at 3 p.m. about 20 miles northwest of Safford, Arizona.

A U.S. official tells ABC News that the pilot was on a training mission. The 162nd Wing is currently training with six partner nations, including Iraq, the Netherlands, and Chile, the official said.

The U.S. Air Force has assembled an interim safety board to investigate the incident.

ABC News' Elizabeth McLaughlin contributed to this report.