NTSB: 2 killed when F-16, small plane crash; jet pilot safe

Before you go, we thought you'd like these...
Before you go close icon
F-16, Small Plane Collide in Midair Over South Carolina

MONCKS CORNER, S.C. (AP) -- An F-16 fighter jet smashed into a small plane Tuesday over South Carolina, killing two people and raining down plane parts and debris over a wide swath of marshes and rice fields.

Two people were aboard the smaller Cessna, which was completely destroyed, and both died, National Transportation Safety Board spokesman Peter Knudson said. The pilot of the F-16 ejected and "is apparently uninjured," he said. Lt. Jenny Hyden, a spokeswoman for Shaw Air Force Base in Sumter, said the pilot was taken to the base for observation.

There are not yet any details on what caused the collision or where the planes were traveling, though the NTSB is investigating.

Debris was scattered across a wide area, though there were no reports of anyone being hurt or any homes being damaged on the ground, Berkeley County spokesman Michael Mule said.

There are homes in the area about 20 miles northwest of Charleston, though it is not densely populated, Mule said.

Profile of the F-16 involved in the crash:
F-16 Fighting Falcon | AxleGeeks
Graphics Provided by axlegeeks.com


A witness reported that the military plane broadsided the Cessna, said Berkeley County Coroner Bill Salisbury. Officials said during a news conference that most of the debris was in a marshy area, including a rice field.

"We have airboats and boats that are designed to run in the mud," Salisbury said.

Wayne Ware told The Post and Courier of Charleston he was going for a walk when he heard the crash happen. He did not see the initial impact, but heard it.

"I turned around, and I saw the jet. Pieces started falling out of the sky," Ware said, telling the paper the jet's engine landed at a campground.

See photos and reactions to the crash:

15 PHOTOS
South Carolina plane collision
See Gallery
NTSB: 2 killed when F-16, small plane crash; jet pilot safe
Emergency personnel from Berkeley County stand outside a campground surrounded by police tape near Moncks Corner, S.C., Tuesday, July 7, 2015, after an F-16 fighter jet smashed into a small plane over South Carolina. (Brad Nettles/The Post and Courier via AP)
Debris from a F-16 fighter jet and plane collision scatter the ground near Moncks Corner, S.C., Tuesday, July 7, 2015. People aboard the smaller Cessna were killed, and the plane was completely destroyed, National Transportation Safety Board spokesman Peter Knudson said. (WCIV-TV via AP)
Authorities drive near Moncks Corner, S.C., Tuesday, July 7, 2015, after an F-16 fighter jet smashed into a small plane over South Carolina. Two people were aboard the smaller Cessna, which was completely destroyed, and both died, National Transportation Safety Board spokesman Peter Knudson said. (Brenda Rindge/The Post and Courier via AP)
Berkeley County Coroner Bill Salisbury answers questions at a news conference in Moncks Corner, S.C., Tuesday, July 7, 2015, after an F-16 fighter jet smashed into a small plane over South Carolina. Two people were aboard the smaller Cessna, which was completely destroyed, and both died, National Transportation Safety Board spokesman Peter Knudson said. (Wade Spees/The Post and Courier via AP)
Map locates Lewisfield Plantation, S.C., site of a plane collision; 1c x 3 inches; 46.5 mm x 76 mm;
PHOTOS: #F16 , Cessna collide over Moncks Corner http://t.co/tnYGD50H1X #chsnews http://t.co/XV517Ujaqd
WATCH: Officials hold press conference on F-16, Cessna plane crash in Moncks Corner http://t.co/tnYGD50H1X #chsnews http://t.co/JW7hYAUQrn
LIVE COVERAGE: F-16 and Cessna plane crash at Lewisfield Plantation in Moncks Corner http://t.co/O5jikwn8qb #chsnews http://t.co/8K9YDoWUxK
JUST IN: Pictures from scene of the plane crash at Lewis Field Plantation in Moncks Corner. #chsnews #BREAKING http://t.co/TXO0eNd3ih
RAW VIDEO: #F16, Cessna crash debris http://t.co/tnYGD50H1X #chsnews http://t.co/TmOAN4Exav
What appears to be a jet engine into a mobile home out OT Wallace Blvd in Berk Co. @ABCNews4 #F16 #scnews http://t.co/mUvAVTvonI
NTSB: 2 people aboard the Cessna, both deceased. #chsnews http://t.co/zuJv3sYCHK http://t.co/XkGXlRdGiG
More pics from Amy Ramsey Dye of Berkeley County plane crash. #chsnews http://t.co/DEcVLAoNuR
Amy Ramsey Dye posted these two pictures of the crash on Facebook. #chsnews http://t.co/6MnaxH3RzS
of
SEE ALL
BACK TO SLIDE
SHOW CAPTION +
HIDE CAPTION

The Air Force has flown F-16s since the 1970s, though very few active-duty squadrons still fly them. F-16s from Shaw Air Force Base, about 35 miles east of Columbia, routinely fly training missions over eastern South Carolina and the Atlantic.

The smaller plane was a Cessna 150, according to the Federal Aviation Administration, a two-seat plane that debuted in 1959 and remains one of the most common single-engine planes in the U.S.

The Cessna 150's maximum altitude is about 15,000 feet, according to the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association. Most models weigh about 1,500 pounds when fully fueled. By comparison, an F-16 is about 50 feet long and weighs nearly 10 tons, not counting fuel or weapons.

---

Associated Press writer Jack Jones in Columbia contributed to this report.

Read Full Story

Sign up for Breaking News by AOL to get the latest breaking news alerts and updates delivered straight to your inbox.

Subscribe to our other newsletters

Emails may offer personalized content or ads. Learn more. You may unsubscribe any time.

From Our Partners