Two American F-16 fighter pilots collided on Tuesday night in different sites across Georgian wooded areas. The airmen securely ejected, and both were taken to the hospital for observation. Other similar events have occurred over the last two weeks in Tennessee and Colorado.
The crash took place on Tuesday at 9:15 p.m., while pilots were conducting routine operations over Jefferson County in Georgia, said the U.S. Air National Guard, according to The Associated Press.
The two pilots are in a hospital near the area, said spokesman Lt. Stephen Hudson. The F-16 aircraft were allocated to the South Carolina Air National Guard’s 169th Fighter Wing, which performs outside McEntire Joint National Guard Base in Eastover.
“We are dealing with two crash sites. They were taken to a local hospital for observation, apparently there were no major injuries,” Hudson said to The Associated Press.
The Air Force is conducting a safety investigation on the crashes
According to Hudson, the collision happened in the middle of a training mission over Georgia airspace in Townsend Range, an area used by the South Carolina Air National Guard for training sessions.
It appears that both crashes occurred in two different wooded areas. Officials from the South Carolina Air National Guard were traveling to the site on Wednesday morning. The Air Force announced that it would carry out a safety investigation.
President Barack Obama made a speech on Tuesday at the U.S. Air Force Academy’s commencement ceremony, to a graduating class of cadets. Here is an official video by the Air Force:
Other similar accidents have occurred over the last two weeks to Navy’s flying teams
The Marine aviator Capt. Jeff Kuss died last week after carrying out a flight demonstration in Tennessee. He was piloting an F/A-18 Hornet from the U.S. Navy Blue Angels. The event occurred at 4 p.m. near the town of Smyrna, said USNI News.
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It appears that Capt. Kuss could have ejected, according to military aviators who spoke with American Military News. However, he apparently decided to maneuver the plane, to prevent a crash with a residential building in the area.
The 32-year-old man was a graduate of Fort Lewis College in Colorado, where he obtained a degree in economics, as reported by The Tennessean. He joined Blue Angel, the U.S. Navy’s flight demonstration squadron, in 2014.
“We’re devastated at the news at the loss of Capt. Kuss. He was a Skyhawk and we at Fort Lewis College are very proud of what he accomplished in his career,” said Mitchel Davis, the public affairs officer at Fort Lewis College, according to U.S.A. Today.
The Blue Angels have canceled performances scheduled for June 11-12 in Syracuse, Onondaga County, New York. An event in Dayton, Ohio that was planned for June 18-19, was also canceled.
On the same day that Capt. Kuss passed away, an F-16 from the Thunderbirds crashed in Colorado Springs. The pilot ejected and suffered no injuries. According to the Air Force, the event occurred due to pilot error.
Source: The Associated Press