2 F-16C Falcon jets collide in Va. during training

6:49 AM, Aug 2, 2013   |    comments
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  • file photo - F-16 Fighting Falcon from the 36th Fighter Squadron at Osan Air Base, South Korea, lands here after a mission during Commando Sling 04-3. U.S. and Singaporean Airmen trained together using realistic dissimilar aircraft air-to-air combat tactics. (U.S. Air Force/Master Sgt. Val Gempis)
  • U.S. Coast Guard Petty Officer 1st Class Bret Fogle, a rescue swimmer, gets hoisted into an MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter at Coast Guard Air Station Elizabeth City, N.C., Aug. 3, 2012. Crews conducted hoist training with cadets from the Coast Guard Academy in New London, Conn., as part of their week-long summer visit to the air station. (Photo by Petty Officer 1st Class Brandyn Hill)

JOINT BASE ANDREWS, Md. (WUSA9) -- Officials are trying to figure out how two F-16C Falcon aircraft collided on Thursday night off the coast of Chincoteague, Va.

The F-16C jets were assigned to the 113th Wing D.C. Air National Guard and were part of  a routine training mission off the coast of Chincoteague, Va. late Thursday night when they crashed, say officials.

Officials tell us that one pilot safely ejected from his aircraft, and was recovered by the U.S. Coast Guard. National Guard officials tell us that an automated Search and Rescue Satellite Aided Tracking distress signal from an ejection seat registered to an Air National Guard plane alerted Coast Guard watchers to the situation at approximately 10:28 p.m. Thursday.

Coast Guard watchers confirmed the jets had collided mid-air. They say that an MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter crew hoised the pilot up at approximately 12:30 a.m. on Friday. He was transferred to Joint Base Andrews, say officials.

The crew members that helped the pilot have been identified as pilot Lt. Cmdr. Steve Bonn, co-pilot Lt. David Birky, rescue swimmer Petty Officer 1st Class Bret Fogle and flight mechanic and hoist operator Petty Officer 2nd Class Mark Bergman.

The other pilot was able to return to Joint Base Andrews in Md. in his aircraft, say National Guard officials.

Both pilots were transported to a medical facility on base, say officials, and were treated for minor injuries. National Gaurd officials say that the rescued pilot was in good condition at last check.

The cause of the collison is under investigation.

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