Two months after an F-16 fighter jet crash-landed in northern Lake Havasu City, the U.S. Air Force is continuing negotiations to repair a fence damaged during the crash.
According to U.S. Air Force Public Affairs Chief Rebecca Heyse, the military is finalizing requirements to award a contract for the reconstruction of 240 feet of fence at Lake Havasu City Municipal Airport, where the plane was forced to crash-land on April 24 during training exercises from Luke Air Force Base.
“We are within 30 days of awarding the contract,” Heyse said. “The Air Force is responsible for any damage caused by the Air Force. Once the contract is finished, we’ll know how much it will cost.”
Engine failure forced the plane’s pilot to divert his course and land in Havasu on April 24, military officials said after the crash. According to Airport Administrator Steve Johnston, the F-16 approached too quickly, traversing half the length of Havasu’s runway before careening through the fence and into the open desert beyond.
“The airplane took out about 240 feet of the airport’s security fence,” Johnston said. “The Air Force will replace it with light fencing. There weren’t any chemical or fuel leaks, and the pilot was not injured.”
According to Johnston, the fence was replaced with a seven-foot-high security fence after the accident, which will soon be replaced with a permanent fence when a contract for the fence’s construction is completed.
“As far as I know, this is the first military plane accident at a civilian airport,” Johnston said. “I compliment the airport staff on how they handled the situation, and I give my compliments to the people at Luke Air Force Base, who did a stellar job.”
The Air Force investigation into the accident remains ongoing.