F-16 Fighting Falcon

Iraqi pilot flew military plane that crashed in Arizona

"We have no word yet on his fate or the reason behind the crash," Brig. Gen. Tahseen Ibrahim told The Associated Press. "We are in contact with the Americans to get more details."

Ibrahim confirmed the pilot is Brig. Gen. Rafid Mohammed Hassan but said the pilot's fate still is not known. He said the rescue operation is difficult because the plane hit a gas pipeline in a rural area.

Military plane crashes in Arizona; pilot's condition unknown

An Arizona Air National Guard statement says the pilot flying with the 162nd Wing Arizona Air National Guard was the only person aboard when the plane went down during a Wednesday night training mission.

Further details about the pilot weren't released early Thursday, but rescuers were sent to the crash site 5 miles east of Douglas Municipal Airport.

Cochise County sheriff's spokeswoman Carol Capas tells the Arizona Daily StarĀ that the plane ruptured a gas line and sparked a fire. Once the flames are extinguished, officials will assess the damage.