FAA confirms military jet on training runs over eastern Iowa Thursday

Published: Apr. 23, 2021 at 4:56 PM CDT
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CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (KCRG) - The FAA confirmed to KCRG-TV9 it was a military jet flying training runs over Cedar Rapids Thursday night that startled many across eastern Iowa but where that jet came from and went remains a mystery.

Video from viewers shows a fighter jet flying very low over the Eastern Iowa Airport around 8:30 pm Thursday. The sound of the jet startled many people and was reported from Cedar Rapids all the way to Dubuque.

A former member of the Air Force who works at KCRG-TV9 said the video appears to show an F-16. The F-16 is the only fighter jet currently operating in the U.S with a single engine and tailfin, depicted in the video.


The Iowa National Guard confirmed it did not have any jets operating in the area Thursday night. It also no longer operates a fighter wing, having stopped flying F-16s in 2013 and switched to drone operations.

The Wisconsin National Guard operates F-16 jets as part of the 115th Fighter Wing but told KCRG-TV9 it did not have any jets flying in the area.

“We’ve gotten a couple calls/e-mails about it as well, however, I checked with the 115th Fighter Wing and we did not have any aircraft in that area yesterday, and that’s not an area in which we’d typically fly,” said MAJ Joe Trovato with the Wisconsin National Guard.

Minnesota’s National Guard also operates F-16s but has not responded yet to questions on operations Thursday night.

There are about 20 U.S. bases that operate F-16 fighter jets.

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