F-16 pilot who crashed Wednesday identified

F-16 pilot who crashed Wednesday identified
F-16 crash site near Douglas (Source: Cochise County Sheriff's Office)
F-16 crash site near Douglas (Source: Cochise County Sheriff's Office)
F-16 crash site near Douglas (Source: Cochise County Sheriff's Office)
F-16 crash site near Douglas (Source: Cochise County Sheriff's Office)
Flames from the crash (Source: Viewer FB submission)
Flames from the crash (Source: Viewer FB submission)

TUCSON, AZ (Tucson News Now) - The pilot of the F-16 Fighting Falcon that went down on June 24 has been identified as Brig. Gen. Rafid Mohammed Hassan, as reported by The Associated Press.

However, the pilot is still missing.

Spokesman Brig. Gen. Tahseen Ibrahim told the Associated Press in Baghdad that the pilot's fate and reason for the crash is still unknown.

"We are in contact with the Americans to get more details," he said.

Davis-Monthan Air Force Base officials said the crash was a training mission gone wrong.

The jet was part of the 162nd Wing of the Arizona National Guard, and crashed near Leslie Canyon.

Emergency officials are still working to find the pilot, who they say may have ejected from the plane. Spotter planes are in the air searching the area.   The Associated Press reported that a spokesman for the Iraqi defense minister,  Brig. Gen. Tahseen Ibrahim, identified the pilot as Brig. Gen. Rafid Mohammed Hassan. This has not been confirmed by authorities in the U.S.

Law enforcement has set up a two-mile perimeter around the crash to assist in the investigation and search.

Witnesses said they heard an explosion then saw flames. The crash did spark a fire about a mile in size.

As of Thursday morning, Cochise County Sheriff's officials said the fire on land had been contained, but there were parts of the jet still on fire. Hazmat crews from D-M were sent to assist.

The flames were close to homes and emergency officials had an evacuation order in place, as a precaution. One family chose to leave the area, though their home was not on fire.

Still no word on what caused the F-16 to crash. Officials are expected to update the status of the investigation in the coming hours.

Barbara Grijalva is on the scene with the latest. Follow her on Twitter

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Related links

Iraqi fighter pilots training in Tucson:

Video: U.S airmen train Iraqi F-16 pilots:

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