Investigation, cleanup underway after F-35 crashes at Hill AFB

Oct 20, 2022, 1:26 PM

HILL AIR FORCE BASE, Utah —  As Air Force investigators sifted through the burned remains of an F-35 that crashed at Hill Air Force Base, more witnesses have described what they heard and saw Wednesday night.

They work and live right next to the burned crash site, off Canal Road. They are used to the jet noise but something didn’t sound right.

Scott Cook and his family own property and live right below the F-35 crash area. He said they rushed to the scene after they heard the crash and saw the flames.

“We know right where the runway is, and we know if there’s smoke coming off that, that something’s gone bad,” Cook said.

He worried about the fire spreading and was thankful that crews were able to knock it down quickly.

“All above the canal is just raw material,” Cook described.

Multiple agencies responded and Cook said Roy units were first to arrive, followed by South Weber. Hill Air Force Base crews took over and cut through the fence to knock down the fire quickly.

The pilot ejected safely but crews did take him to a hospital. He was being monitored and it is believed he will recover. Details about any injuries were not provided.

Cook said he has lived in the area for 53 years and this is the first time he saw a jet crash.

The same goes for Kimberly Byram, who works at a toll booth right off the base.

She had just clocked out for work and noticed the hill on fire as she walked to her car.

“Black at the bottom. Gray, just plunging. Flames were really high. With it being dry, we were kind of worried how far it would go,” Byram said.

Hill Air Force Base said this is the first F-35 to crash there. An F-16 crashed there in 2009.

Eyewitnesses who saw the F-35 Lightning II crash have been asked to call Hill Air Force Base as the U.S. Air Force continues its investigation.

Those who witnessed the crash or those who have found anything that may be related to the mishap should call 801-777-0911 or email 75abw.pa@us.af.mil with their name, address, phone number and related details.

Hill AFB sets up eyewitness account hotline after F-35 crashes

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Investigation, cleanup underway after F-35 crashes at Hill AFB