F-22 Fighter jet crashes near Florida Air Force base (picture)


TYNDALL AIR FORCE BASE, Fla. (AP) - An Air Force F-22 Raptor fighter jet crashed near a Florida Panhandle highway Thursday, but the pilot was able to eject safely and there were no injuries on the ground, the military said.

UPDATE 5:50 p.m. Thursday:

Col. David Graff, 325th Fighter Wing Commander held a news conference at the Tyndall Air Force Base Visitor Center at 5:45 p.m. Thursday.

Col. Graff says the pilot looks to be doing well and is undergoing medical evaluation. Graff also says Highway 98 is now reopened.

Graff says their initial goal was the safety of the pilot. Their second goal was the safety of the area and they are still working on securing the area and will keep it secure for some time.

The details of the crash are not known at this time but Col. Graff says there was nothing to indicate that the incident was oxygen related. In the past F-22 pilots have reported oxygen issues and the planes were grounded for some time while the issue was examined.

Col. Graff says Tyndall will assemble a safety board to look into the incident and see if there are concerns that may apply to the F-22 or other aircraft.

The name and age of the pilot are not being released at this time.