Air Force Jet Hits Bird, Drops 3 Dummy Bombs Over Florida

The Air Force says it’s investigating after a fighter jet struck a bird and dropped three dummy bombs used for training over northern Florida.

Moody Air Force Base in central Georgia said in a news release there were no immediate reports of injuries or damage after the 25-pound, nonexplosive training munitions were dropped Monday afternoon by an A-10C Thunderbolt II jet. The base said a “bird strike” had caused “an inadvertent release” of the three dummy bombs.

NTD Photo
A Lt. Colonel in the U.S. Air Force checks the exterior of his A-10 Thunderbolt II attack aircraft, known as the “Warthog,” at Bagram Air Force Base in Afghanistan on Sept. 5, 2002. (Chris Hondros/Getty Images)

The Air Force said it didn’t know where the training bombs landed, but the suspected area was about 54 miles south of the base near Suwannee Springs in northern Florida.

The Air Force said the dummy bombs, though inert, contain small pyrotechnic charges and should not be handled.

Earlier this year, an F-16 fighter jet has crashed into a commercial building at the end of a runway at March Air Reserve Base in Southern California.

The crash took place May 16 about 3:30 p.m. local time at the air base in Moreno Valley, Riverside County, U.S. Air Force Maj. Perry Covington said, according to KTLA.

The pilot was trying to land at the base, an Air Force official told Fox News.

Riverside fire officials said that three people were transported with minor injuries but that no major injuries have been reported, according to ABC7.

The pilot, the only occupant on the plane, was able to eject before the crash and was being checked by medical personnel, according to the Riverside County Sheriff in a Twitter post.

Officials said the pilot was hospitalized in stable condition and not seriously injured.

A small fire sparked by the crash was put out quickly, March Air Reserve Base Deputy Fire Chief Tim Holliday told KTLA.

One official told Fox News that the F-16 was armed. It was one of the alert jets for the North American Aerospace Defense Command.

Live video from a news helicopter showed that the plane appeared to have crashed upon landing.

Melissa Melendez, the assemblywoman for the district, posted a Tweet saying all workers in the warehouse have been accounted for.

“An F-16 crashed into a commercial building on Opportunity Way on March ARB in Riverside this afternoon. Pilot alive, all warehouses workers accounted for. Waiting for update on fire,” she wrote.

Footage of the crash emerged online, showing a large hole in the building.

One photo shows part of the fighter jet sticking out of the rubble. A witness, Jeff Schoffstall, said he was working when he heard the plane come dangerously low to the ground before it made a loud noise, ABC7 reported.

Schoffstall posted video of the scene.

“It was almost to the point where I had to cover my ears, and next thing you know I just hear this explosion,” Daniel Gallegos, another witness, told the news station.

“I turn around to the back of the building and I just seen a burst of flames and just the ceiling start falling through every part of the building. In a matter of seconds, my ankles were filled with water.”

NTD News reporter Mimi Nguyen-ly contributed to this report.