Capt. Michael L. Chinburg, a 26-year-old Air Force pilot who was stationed at Hill Air Force Base, was killed Tuesday when his F-16 jet fighter crashed in Saudi Arabia.
"An F-16 Fighting Falcon jet fighter from the 4th Tactical Squadron crashed at approximately 8:45 p.m. Jan. 8 in northern Saudi Arabia while on a night training mission," Major Linda Leong told the Deseret News, which contacted her by phone at American military headquarters in Saudi Arabia.She noted that the jet was part of the 388th Tactical Fighter Wing, stationed at Hill. "A board of qualified officers" will be convened to investigate the accident, Leong said.
Leong said the squadron is stationed in the theater of operations for Desert Shield, but she refused to say what country it is based in. However, the captain was flying his jet in northern Saudi Arabia at the time of the crash, she said.
Wire service reports counted Chinburg as the 100th to die among the Americans in Operation Desert Shield, including 41 who drowned when their boat foundered off the coast of Israel. "Baghdad Betty," the propaganda voice of Iraq, immediately seized on the accident in a broadcast aimed at American troops.
Capt. Jan Lauer at Hill AFB said Chinburg was 26 years old and married. He and listed his home town as Durham, N.H., she said.
He lived in South Ogden.
Chinburg was transferred to Hill in February 1989; the 4th Squadron was activated for Operation Desert Shield in late August 1990.