April 22, 1997 (by Lieven Dewitte) - An F-16 Fighting Falcon crashed at approximately 10 a.m. April 21 in an unpopulated area about 7 miles southwest of Pearson, Ga. The aircraft was en route from Moody to Grand Bay Bombing Range during a routine low-level training mission.
The pilot, 1st Lt. Joseph C. Thomas, ejected and was found by local loggers, and assisted by the Atkinson County Sheriff's Department. Once on scene, Air Force medical personnel examined Thomas and determined him to be in good condition. Thomas has returned to Moody.
The aircraft was assigned to the 347th Wing's 68th Fighter Squadron and was carrying practice flares, training BDU bombs and 500 rounds of 20mm training ammunition.
A board of officers will convene to determine the cause of the accident.