F-15 Skids Off the Runway into Canal in Oregon; Pilot OK

An Oregon Air National Guard F-15D slid off the runway and into an irrigation canal at Kingsley Field, Ore., on May 15. But the pilot was able to walk away from the mishap with only minor injuries and was quickly released from the hospital, the 173rd Fighter Wing announced. 

The accident took place at approximately 3:15 p.m. local time after a routine training mission, according to press releases from the wing. Despite being a two-seat F-15D, the aircraft had only one crew member on board at the time—an instructor pilot—according to a release.

“We are so grateful that our pilot was able to walk away from this mishap,” Col. Micah Lambert, 173rd Fighter Wing vice commander, said in a statement. “Our Team Kingsley responders acted quickly and with professionalism thanks to the extensive training and safety mindset of our team.” 

No cause for the mishap was given, but the wing said that a board of officers has been assigned to investigate. 

In a release, Lambert also noted that the wing did not believe the aircraft was leaking any fuel into the water. 

“Minimizing the environmental impact is one of our main priorities; we have taken precautionary measures and placed absorbent booms around the aircraft to prevent the flow of fuel, or other substances, downstream in the event there is a leakage,” Lambert said. 

A spokeswoman for the 173rd Fighter Wing said there is no timeline yet for the aircraft to be removed from the water, nor has any determination of the severity of the water damage to the plane been made.

The Air Force has only a few F-15Ds left in its inventory—18 as of September 2022. Most of those are in the Air National Guard, and they are on average more than 30 years old. 

In 2020, the Air Force announced it was replacing its F-15C/Ds at Kingsley with its F-15EX schoolhouse. However, the 173rd announced in February that the department is reconsidering that decision.