June 30, 2004 (by Lieven Dewitte) - An Air Force F-16 pilot who in 2002 mistakenly dropped a 500-pound bomb on a group of Canadian soldiers in Afghanistan, killing four, will not face court-martial, the Air Force said last Thursday.
Maj. Harry Schmidt, a former TOPGUN and Air Force Fighter Weapons School (FWS) instructor, has agreed to a nonjudicial hearing.
The flier's attorney said that classified information will be presented to show that the Air Force fighter pilot acted reasonably when he mistakenly dropped a bomb..
By avoiding court-martial, Schmidt no longer faces imprisonment.
Maj. Schmidt is scheduled tomorrow to face four dereliction-of-duty charges in an administrative hearing at Barksdale Air Force Base, La. He could face up to 30 days confinement or loss of one month?s pay, about $5,600, or a combination of those.