KINGSLEY FIELD, OR -- A U.S. Air Force F-15D departed the runway during landing at approximately 3:15 p.m. yesterday at Kingsley Field in Klamath Falls, Ore. The aircraft was returning to base following a routine training mission.
Upon landing the aircraft left the paved surface and came to a stop in the Bureau of Reclamation irrigation canal at the south side of the runway.
“We don’t believe the aircraft is leaking any petroleum products based on our initial assessment of the water in the canal,” said Col. Micah Lambert, 173rd Fighter Wing vice commander. “Minimizing the environmental impact is one of our main priorities; we have taken precautionary measures and placed absorbent booms around the aircraft to prevent the flow of fuel, or other substances, downstream in the event there is a leakage.”
Lambert also said the wing is conducting ongoing water sampling to detect if there is a presence of petroleum products in the water.
The plane was assigned to the 173rd Fighter Wing, and there was one crew member on board. The F-15 instructor pilot exited the aircraft safely and was transported to Sky Lakes Medical Center as a precaution and for evaluation. He has since been released with minor injuries.
“We are so grateful that our pilot was able to walk away from this mishap,” said Lambert. “Our Team Kingsley responders acted quickly and with professionalism thanks to the extensive training and safety mindset of our team.”
Lambert noted that the wing is partnering with local authorities and federal agencies, to include the Bureau of Reclamation, to ensure the aircraft is safely removed from the canal.
A board of officers has been assigned to investigate the mishap. Additional updates will be provided as soon as they are available.