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Military pilot killed at Shaw Air Force Base as fighter jet crashes and explodes into flames

A military pilot died in a fighter jet crash at Shaw Air Force Base in Sumter, South Carolina.

Base officials confirmed the fatality early Wednesday morning, but did not release the name of the pilot. 

The crash occurred on the military base around 11:30 p.m. Tuesday while the pilot was performing a routine training mission in a F-16CM Fighting Falcon assigned to the 20th Fighter Wing.

The pilot was the only person on board.

Video shared to social media showed the aircraft in flames on the tarmac as smoke billowed from the wreckage. 

While the cause of the crash is under official investigation,  The Aviationist quotes two sources as saying that ‘the accident may have been caused by an inability of the aircraft to extend its landing gear into the landing configuration.’

The jet reportedly ‘flew as low as possible’ so the pilot could eject, but the aircraft ‘crashed and flipped’. 

Shaw is one of the largest Air Force bases in the country, with more than 5.400 military members on base. 

Tuesday’s accident was the latest in a series of Air Force crashes that have occurred across the past five weeks. 

Last month, there were two crashes on at the Eglin Air Force Base in Florida. 

On May 15, an F-22 assigned to the 43rd Fighter Squadron crashed, but the pilot managed to safely eject. 

Less than a week later, an F-35A Lightning II from 58th Fighter Squadron crashed at the base. The pilot also managed to safely eject from the aircraft and was transported to hospital.  

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