U.S. fighter jet crash-lands in Bahrain

Northwest Arkansas Democrat-Gazette - - INTERNATIONAL -

DUBAI, United Arab Emi­rates — A U.S. F-18 fighter jet suf­fer­ing an en­gine prob­lem crash-landed Sat­ur­day at Bahrain In­ter­na­tional Air­port and its pi­lot ejected from the air­craft af­ter it ran off the run­way, au­thor­i­ties said. The pi­lot es­caped un­harmed.

The crash dis­rupted flights to and from the is­land na­tion off the coast of Saudi Ara­bia that’s home to the U.S. Navy’s 5th Fleet. Im­ages on so­cial me­dia showed the gray fighter jet’s nose tipped into the air but largely in­tact af­ter what the Navy de­scribed as an “un­con­trol­lable” land­ing.

The F-18 took off from the USS Nimitz, an air­craft car­rier now in the Per­sian Gulf, said Cmdr. Bill Ur­ban, a fleet spokesman. While in flight, the plane’s en­gine mal­func­tioned, forc­ing the pi­lot to di­vert, Ur­ban said.

The pi­lot ini­tially tried to land at Sheikh Isa Air Base in Bahrain, but in­stead ended up at the is­land’s com­mer­cial air­port, Ur­ban said.

“Due to the mal­func­tion, the air­craft could not be stopped on the run­way and the pi­lot ejected from the air­craft as it de­parted the run­way,” the com­man­der said in a state­ment.

Naval of­fi­cials be­gan an in­ves­ti­ga­tion into the crash and were try­ing to help the air­port re­sume oper­a­tions, Ur­ban said. Bahrain’s Trans­porta­tion and Telecom­mu­ni­ca­tions Min­istry called the crash land­ing a “mi­nor in­ci­dent” in a state­ment and said flights re­sumed at the air­port sev­eral hours later.

Bahrain hosts 8,000 U.S. troops, mostly sailors at­tached to a sprawl­ing base called the Naval Sup­port Ac­tiv­ity.


Peo­ple in Karachi, Pak­istan, cel­e­brate Sat­ur­day ahead of the na­tion’s In­de­pen­dence Day. Mon­day marks the 70th year since Pak­istan’s in­de­pen­dence from Bri­tish colo­nial rule.

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