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F-16 "Fly-by shooting" on New Jersey school

November 4, 2004 (by Lieven Dewitte) - An ANG F-16 Viper from the 121st FS/113th FW at Andrews AFB, on a nighttime training mission in New Jersey, accidentally fired 25 rounds of ammunition that tore through an elementary school last night. Luckily, no one got injured.

USAF F-16A of the 113th TFW of the DC ANG flying over capitol hill [GD photo]

Police were called to Little Egg Harbor Intermediate School when a custodian heard what sounded like someone running across the roof of the school, shortly after 11 p.m. The custodian was the only person in the school at the time.

Police officers noticed punctures in the roof. Ceiling tiles had fallen into class rooms and there were scratch marks in the asphalt outside the building.

The pilot of the F-16C was supposed to fire at a target on the ground three and half miles away from school. It is still unclear what led to the school getting shot up.

The plane, belonging to the 113th Fighter Wing from the DC Air National Guard, flew at an altitude of 7,000 feet when the shots were fired from the M61 A1 Vulcan cannon. The pilot was supposed to fire at a ground target on the Warren Grove Firing Range, 3.5 miles away from the school. The Warren Grove range is managed by the New Jersey ANG.

The 2-inch long practice rounds are made of steel. The projectile is hollow and does not contain a filler and does not explode.

The 113th Wing flies the F-16C and F-16D Fighting Falcon, after conversion from the F-4D in January 1990. The squadron has been in the air over Washington 24 hours a day since the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001. Some of its pilots have flown missions during the Iraq war, and in the no-fly zones above Iraq before the war.

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