Military aircraft crashes near Albuquerque airport, injured pilot escapes before impact

A military aircraft crashed in New Mexico Tuesday. (Credit: KQRE)

An injured pilot was able to escape a military aircraft before it crashed Tuesday near the international airport in Albuquerque, New Mexico. 

The pilot, the only person on board, was taken to a hospital with serious injuries, according to Albuquerque’s fire department. A video posted by the department on X showed a burn scar on a hillside.

Kirtland Air Force Base was leading the investigation into the crash. The base did not immediately respond to a request for comment from the Associated Press. 

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"Pilot was transported, categorized red, meaning he had some serious injuries, required immediate need for transport," Albuquerque Fire Rescue Public Information Officer Lt. Jason Fejer told KQRE. There was two other civilians that were also assessed on scene. One was a patient refusal, and one was a non-patient for some of the debris that came across the road and that they were struck by." 


A military aircraft crashed in New Mexico Tuesday. (Credit: KQRE)

This is the second crash of a military plane in New Mexico in the past month. In April, an F-16 Fighting Falcon went down in a remote area near Holloman Air Force Base in the southern part of the state, leaving that pilot with minor injuries after he ejected from the aircraft.

Authorities haven’t said what type of aircraft was involved in the crash near Kirtland Air Force Base.

Located on the southern edge of Albuquerque, the base is home to the 377th Air Base Wing, which conducts nuclear operations and trains and equips expeditionary forces. It's also home to the Air Force Research Laboratory.

Patrick White, who was driving in the area at the time, told The Associated Press that he saw an aircraft trailing low on the ground, kicking up a cloud of dirt and dust. He said the aircraft briefly disappeared from his line of sight, and then he saw "an enormous plume of black smoke."

When he drove past the crash, he said he saw a piece of it in the middle of the road.

The Associated Press contributed to this report. This story was reported from Los Angeles.