CANNON AIR FORCE BASE — Cannon has lost eight F-16s in crashes since 1997, according to newspaper archives.
Nov. 27, 2006 — An F-16 assigned to the base’s 524th Fighter Squadron crashed in Iraq while supporting coalition ground combat operations. The fate of the pilot is unknown. However, the pilot was not from Cannon, base officials said.
Sept. 10, 2002 — An F-16 fighter pilot died when his jet crashed about 50 miles west of Cannon Air Force Base during a routine training mission, Air Force officials said.
The crash occurred about 8:30 p.m. on private property near Fort Sumner.
Capt. Benton Zettel, 26, of Englewood, Colo., was killed. Zettel, who was assigned to the 522nd Fighter Squadron, had been in the military since 1998 and stationed at Cannon since October 2000.
March 22, 2001 — An F-16 fighter jet from Cannon Air Force Base crashed near the Melrose Bombing Range just after 11 a.m.
The pilot, Capt. Dawn Hokaj (pronounced Hoak-eye), assigned to Cannon’s 522nd Fighter Squadron, ejected safely just before her airplane experienced engine failure and crashed about 30 miles west of Clovis.
December 2000 — An F-16 from Cannon went down in the Gulf of Mexico about 40 miles south of Panama City, Fla. The pilot suffered minor injuries.
July 1999 — An F-16C from Cannon practicing intercepting other aircraft crashed north of Hobbs after experiencing engine trouble. The pilot ejected safely.
Sept. 1, 1998 — A single-seat F-16 crashed during a training mission with other jets in rural De Baca County. The pilot managed to eject from the falling plane, but suffered numerous injuries.
Dec. 4, 1998 — An F-16 from Cannon crashed on ranch land south of Fort Sumner. A broken compressor blade caused the engine to fail. The pilot was not injured, but a passenger taking an ‘‘incentive flight’’ suffered a broken ankle when he ejected.
May 12, 1997 — A Cannon F-16 was lost near Vaughn during a training mission. The single-engine plane came down in an unpopulated area about 5 miles north of Vaughn. The pilot ejected from the plane and was unhurt.