Military aircraft catches fire during takeoff at Nellis AFB

Sergio Conner
January 28, 2018

Nellis Air Force Base officials say no serious injuries are reported from what officials are calling an "aircraft incident" during takeoff at the installation in southern Nevada.

An Australian F-18 fighter has caught fire while taking part in annual the annual Red Flag exercises at an American military base in Nevada.

The cause of the incident is unknown and under investigation.

The Growler has the ability to tactically jam electronics and is used for protection to "U.S. military forces and allies around the world", according to Boeing's website.

Images circulating on social media show the jet intact but evidently substantially damaged by fire.

An earlier statement from the Nellis Air Force Base public affairs unit provided a little further detail.

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A Defence spokesman said the incident involved an RAAF EA-18G Growler electronic warfare fighter jet at Nellis Air Force Base, near Las Vegas.

"The aircraft was required to abort its take-off and subsequently caught fire". However all personnel are safe.

Emergency crews were still at the scene as of 12:40 p.m.

Along with four EA-18G Growlers, the RAAF also sent an AP-3C Orion, an E-7A Wedgetail Airborne Early Warning and Control aircraft to Nevada, as well as a Control and Reporting Centre from 41 Wing, "to support airborne personnel and aircraft" to the exercise.

"It's the largest Red Flag ever with the largest number of participants, highlighting the balance of training efficiency with mission effectiveness".

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