***UPDATED 5:00 p.m. June 8, 2016***
LOUISVILLE, Ga. (WJBF) – The wreckage of the second F-16 Fighter Jet has been found.
A spokesperson for the South Carolina Air National Guard says the second jet’s wreckage was found at around 3 p.m., about two miles from where the wreckage of the first jet was found.
Officials say the 2 pilots were able to safely eject and were found miles apart from each other. They were taken to the hospital and then released. The pilots are now being debriefed about the crash at an air base.
As crews continue to search for wreckage, a safety board will start an investigation within 72 hours. Officials say once all the debris is found, the investigation could take about 30 days to complete.
Officials ask that if you come across any debris, don’t touch it because there are hazardous parts and the military needs to catalog and photograph it. You’re asked to call local law enforcement and they will get in touch with the military.
***UPDATED 12:30 p.m. June 8, 2016***
LOUISVILLE, Ga. (WJBF) – Debris from what is believed to be the wreckage of one of two F-16 fighter jets that collided Tuesday evening over Jefferson County has been found.
Meanwhile, the search continues for the second jet involved. Officials say it could take days, weeks or months to find the wreckage.
Col. Nicholas Gentile flew from McEntire Joint National Guard Base to a command center set up in Jefferson County.
***UPDATED 7:41 a.m. June 8, 2016***
LOUISVILLE, Ga. (WJBF) – A command center to locate the wreckage of two missing F-16 jets that collided in air Tuesday night has been set up at Eden Baptist Church right outside Louisville.
About five airmen from Robins Air Force Base are currently at the command center, along with the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office.
A Georgia State Patrol helicopter is expected about 8 a.m. to flyover and search for plane wreckage.
Senior Master Sgt. Edward Snyder with South Carolina Air National Guard says the military has sent a helicopter to coordinate the command search for the F-16’s.
The search will branch out from the Eden Church Road area.
If you find any suspected wreckage, officials at McEntire Joint National Guard Base encourage you not to touch it, and to call 803-647-8888.
Another press conference is scheduled for 12 p.m. Wednesday from McEntire Joint National Guard Base.
***UPDATED 6:13 a.m. June 8, 2016***
(WJBF) – Two F-16 fighter jets are still missing after a collision over Jefferson County Tuesday night. If you should see the wreckage, do not approach it, but call 911.
Stay with News Channel 6 on this developing story.
***UPDATED 5:32 a.m. June 8, 2016***
(WJBF) – The South Carolina National Guard will hold a press conference Wednesday morning in Eastover, South Carolina. The press conference will address the collision of two F-16 fighter jets over a rural portion of Jefferson County, Georgia. The pilots, who both ejected safely from their aircraft, were part of the 169th Fighter Wing called the “Swamp Fox.” The South Carolina National Guard posted the following announcement on its Facebook page over night:
To all of our Swamp Fox families and followers:
Two S.C. Air National Guard F-16 fighter jets crashed near Jefferson County, Ga.
Two F-16 fighter jets assigned to the South Carolina Air National Guard’s 169th Fighter Wing crashed at approximately 9:15 p.m. tonight over a military operating area in Jefferson County, Ga.
The pilots of each of the single-seat aircraft ejected safely after a mid-air collision while performing routine night-flying operations.
Local first responders are securing the area and providing emergency response services. There have been no reports of injuries on the ground.
An initial safety board has been activated and the U.S. Air Force will be conducting a detailed safety investigation.
UPDATED 1:00 a.m. June 8, 2016***
(WJBF) – The South Carolina Air National Guard say two F-16 fighter jets crashed above a military operating area near Jefferson County, Georgia.
The South Carolina Air National Guard says both pilots of each of the single-seat aircraft ejected safely after a mid-air collision while performing routine night-flying operations.
Officials say a safety board has been activated and the U.S. Air Force will be conducting a detailed safety investigation.
Stay tuned to News Channel 6 for the latest on this developing story.
LOUISVILLE, Ga. (WJBF) – Jefferson County Fire Officials say two pilots are okay after their planes collided in Louisville.
Officials say two small planes collided just after 9:30 Tuesday night.
Both pilots were able to eject from their planes safely.
One pilot was found immediately and short search took place for the second pilot who was found just before 11:30 Tuesday night.
Officials say both pilots are expected to be fine.
The cause of the collision is under investigation.