Jet crash near Roswell (Updated)

The Associated Press

ROSWELL — A military fighter plane crashed Wednesday in southern New Mexico after the pilot ejected safely, Air Force officials said.

The QF-4 Phantom from Holloman Air Force Base crashed southwest of Roswell in grasslands between Roswell and Artesia, sparking a fire that covered at least 80 acres.

No structures were threatened, according to state forestry spokesman Dan Ware.

The pilot was in good condition, according to a prepared statement from Col. David Krumm, commander of the 49th Wing.

KOB-TV reported there was live ammunition aboard the plane, and rescue crews were being asked to approach the crash site with caution. Holloman officials declined to confirm that report, but Krumm, in his statement, said the base was “asking the public to cooperate with military and civilian authorities at the scene to ensure the safety of everyone involved.”

The aircraft was assigned to and operated by Detachment 1, 82nd Aerial Target Squadron.

The QF-4 is used as a target for weapons testing. It can be flown by remote control or with a pilot.