Sunday, March 29, 2009

Edwards Public Affairs: Avoid F-22A crash recovery area

95th Air Base Wing Public Affairs

3/29/2009 - EDWARDS AIR FORCE BASE, Calif. -- Air Force officials are asking the public to refrain from entering the F-22A crash recovery site northeast of Edwards Air Force Base.

At 10 a.m. March 25, an F-22A crashed about 35 miles northeast of the base, killing David Cooley, a Lockheed Martin test pilot. A board of Air Force officers is investigating the cause of the crash, while a team from Edwards Air Force Base is working to recover the aircraft and reclamate the crash scene.

The F-22A contains materials that, when damaged, may pose health risks. The aircraft recovery team working in the area is specially equipped and trained to handle those materials.

The recovery area is concentrated in three washes that extend 10 miles east of Hoffman Road from the Fremont Peak Road, south to Lockhart Road, in San Bernardino County. The area is popular with ATV and dirt bike riders, especially on the weekends.

Edwards officials ask the public to stay out of the area until it is deemed safe for their use. The 95th Security Forces Squadron has deployed a security team around the area, and large warning signs are placed around the perimeter. Officials estimate the recovery operations will continue through late April.

"The work we're doing there serves to not only tell us why the crash occurred, but also allows us to return the area as close to its natural state as is possible," said Col. Nancy Reeves-Flores, 95th Air Base Wing vice commander. "We cannot do this important job without the knowledge and support of our neighbors in the Antelope Valley, and we ask for their patience and understanding as we move forward."

Those with questions about the recovery operations, or who have information on the crash, are encouraged to contact the Edwards Public Affairs Office at (661) 275-9917or (661) 277-3511. They may also contact Edwards Air Force Base Command Post at (661) 277-3040.

Related post:
Aircraft down: F-22 with one pilot aboard has crashed near Edwards Air Force Base

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