July 17, 2001 (by Lieven Dewitte) - The Edwards F-16B jet fighter aircraft which crashed this morning at about 7 a.m. was performing photo and safety chase support for another F-16 test aircraft.
The two jets took off from Edwards at approximately 6 a.m. to allow the test aircraft to perform a test of the Miniature Air-Launch Decoy, an air-launched missile that functions as a radar decoy, while the support aircraft provided photo and safety chase. Support aircraft routinely accompany test aircraft to obtain aerial photographic record of the mission and to visually monitor the mission?s safety in flight.
The test aircraft returned to Edwards safely.
The remote crash site lies among mountainous terrain east of China Lake Naval Air Warfare Center.
The two aircrew members on board the downed F-16 aircraft have been confirmed dead at the scene.
Maj. Aaron George, a pilot with the 416th Flight Test Squadron here, and Judson Brohmer, a subcontractor aerial photographer supporting Lockheed Martin at the time of the incident, have been positively identified.