Pilot sought after two F-16s collide off S.C. coastCrews searched more than 750 square miles of the Atlantic on Friday for an F-16 fighter pilot whose plane hit another fighter mid-air during night training exercises off the South Carolina coast.
CHARLESTON, S.C. (AP) — Crews searched more than 750 square miles of the Atlantic on Friday for an F-16 fighter pilot whose plane hit another fighter mid-air during night training exercises off the South Carolina coast.
The two planes collided Thursday around 8:30 p.m. about 40 miles off Folly Beach, near Charleston, said Senior Master Sgt. Brad Fallin at Shaw Air Force Base in Sumter. Both jets, based at Shaw, are single-seat aircraft.
One jet, piloted by Capt. Lee Bryant, landed safely at Charleston Air Force Base, Fallin said. Bryant was examined at the base but had suffered no injuries and was released, Fallin said. The spokesman did not know where Bryant was early Friday.
Search crews had not yet found the missing plane or its pilot, Capt. Nicholas Giglio, Fallin said.
It was cloudy and raining with 3-foot seas at the time of the crash, the Coast Guard said. There were occasional showers early Friday as the Coast Guard searched with a helicopter, a C-130 airplane, a cutter and two smaller boats.
``It doesn't make it easier but we're still able to fly and do our jobs,' Coast Guard Petty Officer Bobby Nash said.
The pilots' hometowns and ages were not immediately available.
Fallin said he didn't know how much damage Bryant's plane sustained. Fallin said it was being examined as part of the investigation.
Earlier this week, Shaw Air Force Base announced that pilots would be conducting nighttime exercises to allow pilots to fly with night vision equipment and practice tactics critical to surviving in combat.