Friday, October 16, 2009
NEAR CHARLESTON, S.C. -- The Air Force says crews are searching for an F-16 fighter pilot off the coast of South Carolina after two jets collided Thursday night.
The jets were based out of Shaw Air Force Base in Sumter.
Shaw AFB spokesman Robert Sexton said the two planes collided at about 8:30 p.m. Thursday about 40 miles off Folly Beach, near Charleston, during night training exercises.
Each plane was carrying one person.
Sexton said a fighter piloted by Cpt. Lee Bryant landed safely at Charleston Air Force Base, but the location of the other fighter piloted by Cpt. Nicholas Giglio is unknown.
Sexton said members of the U.S. Coast Guard, U.S. Navy and pilots from Charleston Air Force Base are currently searching for the missing pilot and the wreckage.
It is unclear at this point if Giglio was able to safely eject from his jet.
Bryant is being looked at by medical personnel. He has been interviewed about what happened but details of that conversation have not been released.
A board of officers is already getting together to review this incident and determine how to prevent it from happening in the future.