An Air Force fighter jet crashed in a sparsely populated part of southern Nevada on Monday, but the pilot was able to eject from the aircraft and didn't suffer any injuries, authorities said.
The F-15C Eagle from Nellis Air Force Base crashed on federal land northwest of Alamo, Nev., said Lt. Ken Lustig, an Air Force spokesman. Alamo is about 100 miles north of Las Vegas.
Lincoln County Sheriff Kerry Lee said a citizen reported seeing a large explosion and fireball west of U.S. Highway 93 shortly after 4 p.m. Deputies made their way over rough terrain and through a ranch toward the plume of smoke about five miles from the highway, he said.
"It was out in the desert, really hard to get to," Lee said. When deputies arrived, they found a debris field about 100 yards long.
"It didn't look like the plane slammed into the ground," the sheriff said. "There was a lot of the plane left, but it burned up."
The pilot had started walking and was picked up by a military helicopter about 30 minutes after the crash, Lee said. He was flown to Mike O'Callaghan Federal Hospital near Las Vegas for an examination that revealed no injuries, Lustig said.
Lustig didn't have any details about the nature of the flight and couldn't say whether the jet that crashed was accompanied by other aircraft.
An investigation into the cause of the crash was already under way Monday night, Lustig said.