LOUISVILLE, Ga. (WJBF) – The wreckage of the second F-16 Fighter Jet has been found, two miles from the wreckage of the first jet. A spokesperson for the South Carolina Air National Guard says the second jet’s wreckage was found at around 3 p.m.
Search crews spent the day looking for any debris after 2 F-16s crashed into each other over a Military Operating Area in Jefferson County, Georgia.
Colonel Nicholas Gentile Jr. says they were involved in maneuvers working against electronic warfare tactics and emitters, and working through an advanced mission set at the time of the accident.
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.
“There’s wreckage spread around,” said Col. Gentile Jr. “We’re finding pieces 3 miles away right now. We’ve already sent teams out. People are bringing some wreckage to us. We prefer that they call us and let us handle it.”
Colonel Nicholas Gentile Jr. says the military operating area is known as the “Bulldog.” The 100-mile zone spans from south Augusta to Swainsboro.
“It’s one of the best training airspaces in the United States. Definitely in the Southeast for us. It’s got electronic ranges as well as a lot of area. The Marines, the Air Force, all different platforms of F-16 and F-18, F-15, A-10, all use this, as well as well as a lot of the heavy aircraft, C-130, Special Operations.”
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.
Col. Gentile Jr. says they’re prepared for the long haul. 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.