F-16 Collides with Civilian Cessna, Killing Two
Update: An Associated Press article adds additional information, indicating the F-16 was single-ship, operating under ATC control practicing instrument approaches:
At the time of the collision, Maj. Johnson was flying solo, practicing instrument approaches to a military base and was communicating with Charleston air traffic controllers, according to Col. Stephen Jost, commander of the 20th Fighter Squadron at Shaw Air Force Base.
Jost said he thought it was overcast at the time of the collision, but he was not aware of any weather-related problems.
A Shaw AFB-based F-16 collided with a civilian Cessna in South Carolina, resulting in the ejection of the F-16 pilot and the deaths of the two people on board the General Aviation aircraft. Using their Facebook page, the base announced:
The pilot of the 20th Fighter Wing F-16CM Fighting Falcon who was involved in a mid-air collision today north of Charleston is Major Aaron Johnson from the 55th Fighter Squadron attached to Shaw.
Major Johnson, who survived the collision by ejecting from his fighter, has been taken to Joint Base Charleston’s medical clinic for examination and treatment if necessary.
The most recent announcement indicated the NTSB, rather than the Air Force, would lead the investigation, as is often the case when the deaths are civilian rather than military.