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July 29, 2015

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Nellis Air Force Base fighter jet crashes; no word on pilot

Updated Wednesday, June 29, 2011 | 9:48 a.m.

Crash vicinity

A U.S. Air Force F-16C Fighting Falcon jet crashed near Caliente at about 5:30 p.m. Tuesday, officials at Nellis Air Force Base said.

As of this morning, the pilot still had not been located, officials said. A search and rescue team is searching for the pilot.

The plane crashed about 20 miles west of Caliente on Bureau of Land Management property.

The fighter jet from Nellis was participating in an air-to-air combat training mission when it went down, 1st Lt. Laura Balch said. Search and rescue units were scrambled to the scene, officials said.

The crash is under investigation.

The F-16 is a multi-role fighter that is capable of both air-to-air combat and air-to-surface attack. The F-16 was designed with proven reliable systems from other aircraft, such as the F-15 and the F-111, according to an Air Force fact sheet on the plane. The aircraft is controlled via a "fly-by-wire" system in which electrical wires relay pilot commands, replacing cables and linkage controls.

The $18.8 million plane, which is powered by a single jet engine, can reach speeds of 1,500 mph and has a range of more than 2,000 miles, the Air Force reports.

Sun reporter Aida Ahmed contributed to this story.

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