The aircraft crashed in collision with F-16A (MM7246) into sea about 5 miles from Capo Ferrato in Sardinia. Both pilots, Pier Francisco Grassi (29) and Fabio De Luca (30), have managed to eject safely from their jets. The causes of the incident are still under investigation. The hypothesis of an in flight collision of the jets is however most likely at the moment.
80-616 was my aircraft during a deploymet to Zaragoza spain. I launched both squadron commanders in this aircraft at different times. First Lt Col Eberhardt and then Lt Col Baldwin. Unfortunately, 616 went on to serve in Italy after its tour with the ANG and was then lost in a crash. Actually, this aircraft is the one I was certified on as crew chief for the 10th.