2 pilots ejected from an F-15QA fighter jet during an emergency on the runway at a St. Louis airport

2 pilots ejected from an F-15QA fighter jet during an emergency on the runway at a St. Louis airport
·2 min read
F-15QA USAF/1st Lt. Sam Eckholm
  • Two US pilots were forced to eject from an F-15 at MidAmerica St Louis Airport on Tuesday.

  • The incident happened on the runway, but the cause remains unknown.

  • The aircraft was an F-15QA, a new aircraft expected to be transferred to the Qatar Emeri Air Force.

  • See more stories on Insider's business page.

Two US active-duty pilots ejected from an F-15 fighter jet Tuesday morning after an emergency on the runway at MidAmerica St. Louis Airport in Mascoutah, Illinois, the US Air Force and a nearby base said.

Emergency responders arrived on the scene around 7:30 am local time. Both pilots were taken to a local hospital to address minor injuries and for observation. One pilot has been released, a spokesman for Scott Air Force Base, which is adjacent to MidAmerica Airport, said.

A St. Louis Post-Dispatch photojournalist posted a photo on Twitter of the mishap fighter jet, which is missing its canopy and sitting just off the runway on the grass with unidentified personnel nearby.

The aircraft involved in this incident was a new F-15QA fighter recently accepted by the Air Force from Boeing and expected to be transferred to the Qatar Emiri Air Force through the Foreign Military Sales program. The pilots, a source told Military.com, were from the Air Force and Navy and assigned to the Defense Contract Management Agency, which handles equipment delivery from contractors.

Boeing received a five-year $240 million contract in 2019 to support the QEAF by providing F-15QA program management, maintenance, and aircrew training, according to the company.

Scott Air Force Base tweeted in late February, that pilots who will fly Boeing's new fighter were undergoing training and instruction at MidAmerica Airport with support from base personnel.

The US Air Force's newest F-15 variant, the F-15EX Eagle II, is based on the F-15QA, according to Air Force Magazine. The F-15EX is replacing the aging fleet of F-15C/D fighters and, possibly, the F-15E Strike Eagles. The service received its first of the new fighters in March.

It is unclear exactly what happened Tuesday that caused the two pilots to eject from the F-15QA fighter on the runway. A safety board investigation is currently underway, according to Scott Air Force Base.

Update: This post was updated with additional information from the US Air Force and Scott Air Force Base.

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