June 8, 2016 (by Lieven Dewitte) - Two F-16 fighter jets belonging to the South Carolina Air National Guard crashed above a military operating area near Jefferson County, Georgia. Both pilots of each of the single-seat aircraft ejected safely.
An F-16C from the 157th FS taxis back to its position on the flightline at McEntire JNGB after landing from flying a mission during the Readiness Exercise on April 12th, 2013. [USAF photo by TSgt. Caycee Watson]
The planes collided mid-air just after 21:15h Tuesday night while performing routine night-flying operations. One pilot was found immediately and a short search took place for the second pilot who was found around 23:00h.
The pilots are part of the 157th Fighter Squadron known as the “Swamp Foxes"
Base Commander Col. Nick Gentile.said the jets were 1993 models that flew in Operation Iraqi Freedom's Shock and Awe campaign.
Officials say a safety board has been activated and the U.S. Air Force will be conducting a detailed safety investigation.
The incident comes only five days after a USAF Thunderbirds F-16 jet crashed in Colorado
. That pilot too was saved by the McDonnell-Douglas ACES II ejection seat.