LOUISVILLE, Ga. --Two South Carolina Air National Guard F-16 pilots who ejected from a midair collision over Jefferson County on Tuesday evening were found and appear to be in stable condition, a representative of the sheriff’s office said.
“They are in remarkably good condition considering,” said Investigator Clark Hiebert, who was assisting with the search in a wooded area near Eden Church Road east of Louisville. “Right now we don’t have any idea where the planes are. One of the pilots told me he thinks he saw the planes go down five or six miles from here towards Wadley.”
The collision occurred about 9:15 p.m. There have been no reports of injuries on the ground.
The jets were assigned to the South Carolina Air National Guard's 169th Fighter Wing.
Jefferson County Emergency Services Director Jim Anderson said a call came in about 9:30 p.m. about an explosion and debris falling from the sky. Not long after that, Anderson said, they received a call from the Air National Guard saying two planes had collided in the area and that the pilots had ejected.
The Air National Guard has said they have not located the planes and asked local authorities not to approach the debris.
Anderson recommended that if anyone in the area finds debris, they should call 911.
The Air Force will conduct a safety investigation of the incident, according to the Associated Press.
The collision comes after both of the military's precision flying teams suffered crashes last week. A Blue Angels F/A-18 crashed last Thursday in Tennessee while taking off for a practice session, killing the pilot. On the same day, a Thunderbirds F-16 crashed in Colorado but the pilot ejected safely, the AP reported.