Hill F-35 pilot released from hospital, crash investigation underway

Oct 20, 2022, 6:02 PM | Updated: 8:54 pm

HILL AIR FORCE BASE, Utah — Just hours after an F-35 fighter jet crashed at Hill Air Force Base,  federal investigators were already on scene trying to find out what went wrong.

The pilot ejected safely but he was taken to the hospital and released him hours later.

The F-35 was a complete loss.

“The aircraft was totally destroyed,” said Col. Craig Andrle commander of the 388th Fighter Wing at Hill Air Force Base.

The look on Andrle’s face showed signs of relief when he updated the condition of his pilot. “He was seen at the hospital and released with just minor scrapes and that’s it.”

Andrle did not release the pilot’s name.

Wednesday evening the F-35 crashed into a hillside just before the base’s north runway.

The pilot ejected just before impact and may have directed the plane away from nearby homes and neighborhoods.

“Any of us in that situation are going to attempt to maneuver the aircraft to avoid any buildings on the ground and I’m sure he did that  prior to ejecting from the aircraft,” Andrle said.

Several people who live and work in the area saw the crash and resulting brush fire.

They are used to the jet noise but Wednesday night something didn’t sound right.

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

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.

The big question now is, what went wrong?

Air Force investigators started to gather any piece of evidence they can find.

They’ve also requested anyone who has pictures or video of the crash to send it them in. Investigators also asked residents to look for debris in their yards.

“Really what I’m most concerned about is if you something that looks like some kind of structure, that looks metal or looks like maybe a fiberglass piece of a boat or something like that that wasn’t around your home or your area previously. I would ask you to give us a call,” Col. Jeffrey Holland, Commander of the 75th Air Base Wing said.

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

Though F-35s have crashed before, this is the first time one has crashed at Hill Air Force Base.

The last crash at Hill was an F-16 in 2009.

Andrle said, “These things do happen. Thankfully they are fairly rare. But when they do occur, obviously we’re going to take the time to figure out why it happened and to see if there is anything we need to do differently in the future.”

People with pictures or some debris are asked to call Hill Air Force Base at 801-777-0911. You can also email 75abw.pa@us.af.mil.

KSL 5 TV Live

Top Stories

Local News

Riders leaving the new shuttle. (KSL-TV)...
Shelby Lofton

Riders take advantage of new ski shuttle service for resorts in both Cottonwood Canyons

A new pilot shuttle program is offering skiers and snowboarders a new way to resorts in Big and Little Cottonwood.
19 hours ago
(File) Police Lights responding to a scene....
Michael Houck

Salt Lake man dead after accidental drowning in Millard County, police say

Authorities say a Salt Lake man has died after an accidental drowning incident late Saturday evening in Millard County.
19 hours ago
Michael Houck

Utah juvenile services staff member arrested for sexually abusing housed juvenile

A man who worked in a Utah juvenile services facility was arrested for frequently sexually abusing one of the facility's juveniles.
19 hours ago
a motorhome is on its side in the middle of a wet freeway...
Brooke Williams

Motorhome rollover blocks SB I-15 in Farmington

A motorhome blocked the interstate when it rolled over on its side.
19 hours ago
The Wasatch County Sheriff's Office and Jail in Heber City is pictured on Friday, March 12, 2021. (...
Brooke Williams

Heber man surrendered with firearm after hours-long SWAT barricade

A man in Heber City was barricaded by SWAT and police officers after he made threats while intoxicated, intending bodily harm with a firearm.
19 hours ago
Students at Juan Diego Catholic School (KSL-TV)...
Michael Locklear

Private schools celebrate state funding, expect ‘significant uptick in enrollment’

Utah’s private schools are celebrating that they’ll receive state funding for the first time through a new school choice program.
2 days ago

Sponsored Articles

Fiber Optical cables connected to an optic ports and Network cables connected to ethernet ports...
Brian Huston, CE and Anthony Perkins, BICSI

Why Every Business Needs a Structured Cabling System

A structured cabling system benefits businesses by giving you faster processing speeds and making your network more efficient and reliable.
notebook with password notes highlighted...
PC Laptops

How to Create Strong Passwords You Can Actually Remember

Learn how you can create strong passwords that are actually easy to remember! In a short time you can create new ones in seconds.
house with for rent sign posted...
Chase Harrington, president and COO of Entrata

Top 5 Reasons You May Want to Consider Apartment Life Over Owning a Home

There are many benefits of renting that can be overshadowed by the allure of buying a home. Here are five reasons why renting might be right for you.
Festive kitchen in Christmas decorations. Christmas dining room....
Lighting Design

6 Holiday Decor Trends to Try in 2022

We've rounded out the top 6 holiday decor trends for 2022 so you can be ahead of the game before you start shopping. 
Happy diverse college or university students are having fun on their graduation day...
BYU MBA at the Marriott School of Business

How to Choose What MBA Program is Right for You: Take this Quiz Before You Apply!

Wondering what MBA program is right for you? Take this quiz before you apply to see if it will help you meet your goals.
Diverse Group of Energetic Professionals Team Meeting in Modern Office: Brainstorming IT Programmer...
Les Olson

Don’t Let a Ransomware Attack Get You Down | Protect Your Workplace Today with Cyber Insurance

Business owners and operators should be on guard to protect their workplace. Cyber insurance can protect you from online attacks.
Hill F-35 pilot released from hospital, crash investigation underway