Oct. 27 (UPI) -- Missing parts from its main engine caused an F-16 Fighting Falcon jet to crash at Andrews Air Force Base in Maryland earlier this year, officials said.
The crash occurred April 5 as its pilot was participating in a routine training flight from the base.
Thursday, the Air Force Command said an investigation found the jet had been missing "a required 600-degree training ring and the anti-rotation pin" on its main engine -- parts that measure fuel flow.
"The [plane] experienced an uncommanded engine acceleration, followed by a loss of thrust," the Air Force said in a news release.
The investigation said the pilot jettisoned the F-16C's external wing fuel tanks to shed weight and increase glide distance.
"This led to severe engine overspeed, severe engine over-temperature, engine fire, and, ultimately, a catastrophic engine failure," the Air Force said.
The pilot extinguished the fire before ejecting, but officials said the engine sustained considerable damage. The pilot was not seriously hurt.
The Fighting Falcon, which entered service in 1978, is manufactured by Lockheed Martin at a cost of about $22 milion each.