Local News

Latest: Thunderbird crash 911 calls released

Weather postpones moving jet to Peterson AFB

Latest: Thunderbird crash 911 calls released

EL PASO COUNTY, Colo. - Authorities released recordings Monday of two 911 calls that were placed after an F-16 Thunderbird crashed south of the Colorado Springs Airport last week.

The links to the audio-only recordings are posted under the "related content" section of this article.

Authorities may release more recordings on Tuesday.

The process of cleaning up the crash site in Security-Widefield and preparing to move the jet continued Monday.  Officials said the F-16 will be taken to a hangar at Peterson Air Force Base no sooner than Tuesday afternoon.

Equipment to begin the move was put into place Monday, but workers pulled back as dark clouds moved in. 

Officials said they don't want to work in lightning or wet conditions that would make moving the jet more difficult.

"It has been drained of fuel and (made safe) as best as we can in the field," said Jeff Bohn, Peterson's public affairs officer.  "A crane will hoist the aircraft remains onto a flatbed truck, which will be transported to Peterson."

Bohn said moving the jet Tuesday will depend on how much rain falls overnight, how wet the crash site becomes and how long it takes to reinstall machinery and equipment used to prepare the jet for transport.

The jet likely will be taken north along Powers Boulevard, then through the airport to Peterson, Bohn said, but more specifics were not available Monday.

"The Colorado Department of Transportation will determine that," Bohn said.

The Thunderbird crashed in a field near S. Powers Boulevard and Fontaine Boulevard just after 1 p.m. last Thursday.  The Thunderbirds were returning to Peterson after performing at the Air Force Academy graduation when the crash happened.  The pilot wasn't seriously injured.

People were kept away from the wreckage Thursday afternoon because of a hydrazine leak.  Hydrazine is a compound used in jet fuel. 

A source tells KRDO NewsChannel 13 that there are no signs of foul play, and terrorism is not suspected as a cause of the crash.

The source says the jets are built with secret technology, and the Air Force will be careful to make sure each and every piece that may have shaken loose from the plane is recovered.

Security around the jet remained tight on Monday.

The pilot of the downed jet was identified as Maj. Alex Turner.  He has logged 1,200 flight hours and 270 combat hours in Libya and Iraq.  Turner intentionally went down in an open field to avoid nearby neighborhoods.  He briefly met with President Barack Obama after the crash as the president, who was in town for the Air Force Academy graduation, was preparing to leave Colorado Springs.

Turner is from Chelmsford, Massachusetts, which is about 30 miles northwest of Boston.  His mom, Ann Turner, spoke to ABC affiliate WCVB about the crash Thursday.

"He's pretty well-trained.  He has a lot of experience.  I'm just relieved that he is OK," she said.

The Air Force said in a news release that it will "perform a thorough investigation into the causes of the mishap, and those findings will be released when the investigation is complete."

The Safety Investigation Board from Kirtland Air Force Base in New Mexico is in charge of the crash probe.


comments powered by Disqus

Must See Videos

  • Citizen nabs suspect sought by Fremont County authorities
  • Man arrested for Colorado Springs home explosion
  • Indonesian volcano shoots column of ash into sky
  • Palmer HS student talks importance of Safe2Tell app