February 22, 2000 (by Lieven Dewitte) - An Air Force pilot in upgrade training lost his situational awareness and caused a mid-air collision Nov. 17 between two F-16C aircraft according to an Air Combat Command accident report.
One of the aircraft crashed 45 miles northwest of Springfield, Ill., according to officials investigating the accident. The other aircraft involved in the accident landed safely at Springfield's Capital Airport.
The pilot of the F-16 that crashed, Maj. Ricky G. Yoder, 170th Fighter Squadron, ejected from the aircraft and sustained minor injuries. The aircraft was destroyed upon impact with the ground in a remote, wooded area about one mile northwest of Vermont, Ill. First Lt. Thomas J. Hildebrand, also of the 170th FS
, landed his damaged aircraft at Capital Airport. He was not injured. Both pilots are assigned to the 183rd Fighter Wing at Springfield Air National Guard Base, Capital Airport, Springfield, Ill.