In a dramatic incident on Monday, the Air Force confirmed that an F-15D Eagle aircraft from the Air National Guard skidded off the runway at a base in Oregon. The pilot, the only person on board the two-seater jet, managed to escape unharmed.
The incident occurred at the Portland Air National Guard Base, home to the 142nd Fighter Wing. The F-15D Eagle, a highly maneuverable twin-engine jet designed for air-to-air combat, reportedly returned from a routine training mission when it skidded off the runway during landing.
Base officials confirmed that the pilot, whose identity has not been disclosed due to privacy regulations, safely ejected from the aircraft before it left the runway. The pilot was evaluated by medical personnel on-site and found to be in good health, despite the dramatic nature of the event.
After the incident, the base was temporarily closed to air traffic but has since reopened. The cause of the mishap is still unclear, and an investigation has been launched by the Air Force’s safety investigation board to determine what led to the incident.
The 142nd Fighter Wing, to which the pilot and aircraft belong, is an integral part of the Air National Guard. The Wing’s F-15 Eagles are a crucial part of the U.S. air defense system, protecting the Pacific Northwest region from potential air threats.
“The safety of our personnel is always our top priority,” said Col. Adam Sitler, 142nd Fighter Wing commander. “We are thankful that our pilot is safe, and we will take every step necessary to ensure that this type of incident does not happen again.”
The F-15D Eagle is one of the U.S. military’s most successful and long-serving aircraft. Introduced in the 1970s, the F-15 series is designed for high-speed, high-altitude air superiority missions. The “D” variant is a two-seater model used for training and tactical missions.
While incidents involving F-15 aircraft are relatively rare, they underscore the inherent risks associated with military aviation. The Air National Guard, like all branches of the U.S. military, has robust safety procedures in place designed to minimize these risks and respond quickly when incidents do occur.
This incident comes as the U.S. Air Force and Air National Guard invest in modernization efforts, including acquiring the new F-35 Lightning II fighter jet to replace the aging F-15 fleet. It remains to be seen how this incident will impact the transition timeline or the operational readiness of the 142nd Fighter Wing.
In the meantime, the Air National Guard will continue to prioritize the safety of its personnel and the integrity of its equipment while maintaining its commitment to protecting U.S. airspace.