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Air National Guard jet crashes in Dent County

Friday, November 2, 2007

BOSS, Mo. (AP) -- A pilot was able to eject Friday before his F-15 Air National Guard jet crashed in rural south-central Missouri, authorities said.

The man, whose name and rank were not immediately released, was flown to a St. Louis hospital.

"He looks like he's in pretty good shape. He has some injuries, but nothing life threatening," said Jennifer Arvin, a spokeswoman for Barnes-Jewish Hospital.

The fighter jet crashed around 10 a.m. in a wooded area near Boss in Dent County.

The patrol said no buildings were hit and no one on the ground was injured. The one-seater plane, an F-15C Eagle, was from the Missouri Air National Guard's 131st Fighter Wing, based at Lambert-St. Louis International Airport.

Lt. Stephanie Schmitt, a spokeswoman for the 131st Fighter Wing, said the plane had been on a training mission with three other aircraft that returned safely. She said the airspace above the crash site is reserved for training missions.

Additional details about the crash, including the cause, were not available yet. An Air National Guard emergency response team was on the way to the site, Schmitt said.

Another Missouri Air National Guard fighter crashed in May after taking off from Lambert. That fighter, an F-15D, had been conducting drills about eight miles south of Vincennes, Ind., when a jammed cable caused the two-seater plane to crash, according to an Air Force report released last week. The report said the crossover cable was properly installed, inspected and maintained, leaving it unclear why it malfunctioned.

The pilot, a veteran of 15 years of flying, was able to eject and had only minor injuries. No one on the ground was hurt. The plane, valued at $43.7 million, was destroyed.

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