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Air Force F-16 Collides With Cessna In Mid-Air Close To Charleston

Investigators are converging on an area near Charleston, S.C., where an F-16 crashed Tuesday after colliding with a civilian Cessna airplane around 11:30 a.m. ET.

The jet was based at Shaw Air Force Base, close to Sumter, S.C., and had been flying close to Joint Base Charleston at the time of the collision. In a statement about the crash, the base says, "The F-16 pilot safely ejected" and was taken to the Charleston base for a medical assessment.

There's no word yet on the pilot and/or occupants of the Cessna. The Shaw release states, "Our thoughts are with the friends and family of anyone aboard the civilian aircraft."


The FAA says:

"There has been a midair collision between a Cessna C 150 aircraft and a F 16 fighter aircraft 11 miles north of Charleston, South Carolina at about 11 am today."

The collision involves two of the most prolific aircraft of their respective classes: The Cessna 150 is a prop plane that's ubiquitous at General Aviation airfields around the U.S., while the F-16 is an agile fighter plane that's been in use since the 1970s.

In addition to confirming that one of its F-16C Fighting Falcon aircraft had crashed, Shaw also issued a phone number for people to call if they have damage claims related to the crash.

Images from the scene show that parts of the jet landed in a residential area. In one photo posted to Twitter, what looks to be a jet engine's turbine rests against the side of a trailer. In another, a piece of the plane sits amid smoldering tree branches.

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