Terror filled the sky when two F-16 Fighting Falcon jets met in a violent crash in midair on Monday near Moline, Kansas.
The two F-16 jets were involved in a training exercise when the crash happened in the skies. According to The Spreadit, this particular training mission included four aircraft from the 138th Fighter Wing of the Oklahoma Air National Guard.
When two of the F-16 Fighting Falcon jets collided, one pilot was able to save himself by ejecting from his jet and parachuting to safety. The pilot’s jet went down in a field where it immediately became engulfed in flames upon impact, according to Newsmax.
One of the jets in the crash was still operating and able to be flown back to the airport in Tulsa, Oklahoma. The pilot of that F-16 Fighting Falcon jet was not seriously injured.
Although some debris from the midair crash landed in the town of Moline, none of the residents were injured.
Some residents were witness to the crash in the air. Elaine Julian saw parts of the crash while at a park with her two great-grandsons.
“So we were looking up at the sky and we saw some puffs of smoke, and we could see that there was an airplane in one of those puffs and it was kind of zig-zagging and looked like it was having some trouble. Probably a couple more seconds after that, the noise stopped. It went behind a tree so we couldn’t see it as it hit (the ground), but we heard a loud boom.”
Julian even found pieces of debris in her yard when the family returned home from the park.
“It just looked like a big leaf and it floated down to the ground, and it smelled of fuel. It was kind of a real thin fiberglass and it was about 8 to 10 inches long and 4 inches wide,” Julian said.
According to Yahoo, the other two F-16 jets remained unharmed and landed safely back in Tulsa. Once the crippled jet landed, it had to be towed to a hangar.
The U.S. Air Force maintains it will appoint an investigation team to monitor the condition of the pilots and inspect the F-16 planes. Reports may not be concluded for several months to a year.
The pilot who ejected from his F-16 was taken to McConnell Air Force Base hospital in Wichita to be evaluated, according to military spokesman Col. Max Moss. The pilots operating the F-16 jets in the crash were not identified.
[Images via Twitter and News9]