October 15, 2009 (by Asif Shamim) - Two F-16s from the 20th Fighter Wing based at Shaw Air Force Bases have collided in mid-air somewhere over the Atlantic at 20.30h local time. One jet & its pilot are reported to be missing.
Both F-16s were on a night training exercise at the time. According to officials one of the pilots (Capt. Lee Bryant) was able to bring his damaged F-16 back to Charleston Air Force Base and was seen by medical teams before being discharged. The whereabouts of the other pilot (Capt. Nicholas Giglio) is unknown.
The crash happened "40 miles east of Folly Beach," said Rob Sexton, the chief of public affairs at Shaw.
Units from the US Coast Guard, US Navy
and aircraft based out of Charleston Air Force Base are all participating in the search for the missing pilot. The searching area being covered is 10 nautical miles off Bulls Bay.
Earlier this week, Shaw Air Force Base had announced that pilots would be conducting nighttime exercises to get pilots proficient with night vision equipment and practice tactics critical to surviving in combat
The airforce has set up a board of enquiry to investigate the accident.