Collided with C-130E (68-10942) over Pope AFB, near Fayetteville, North Carolina. The damaged C-130 landed safely. The F-16 crashed into the cargo aircraft parking ramp, shortly after the crew ejected safely. The wreckage of the F-16 scattered across the ramp, hitting a C-141B (66-0173) getting ready to load paratroopers. The paratroopers were rigging in the grassy area behind the C-141. The C-141 caught fire which ignited the fuel tanks. Wreckage from the F-16 scattered through hundreds of fully rigged paratroopers. The C-141 was completely destroyed. By the 25th of the month 23 had people died and 80 were seriously injured. Both the C-130 and the F-16 were trying to land at the same time. The F-16 was above the C-130 and could not see it. They collided at 300 feet. The F-16 hit the tail of the C-130 which damaged the nose of the F-16. The pilot could not regain altitude and before he ejected made an attempt to guide the aircraft away from the parking ramp and buildings by engaging the afterburners. Pieces of the F-16 were found out the back gate of the base, over 1,000 feet away from point of impact. The cause of the mishap was a chain of errors by civilian and military air-traffic controllers. This is the worst F-16 accident to date.
First F-16D model I got an opportunity to crew. I was the new kid in town and no one wanted to crew the Tub. They did not know there were purks to crewing the D-model. for example. all VIP/DV got to fly my aircraft wheather if they were Generals or Incentive flight, I was there and the rewards was great. Other crew chief started catching on and wanted a piece of the pie.