F-16 Pilots Survive Midair Collision

One pilot landed with partial wing.

F-16 Collision Wingtip

F-16 Collision Wingtip

U.S. Air Force

It is uncommon for everyone to survive during a midair collision with major damage to the airplanes involved. But that is exactly what happened during a failed F-16 training mission that was conducted on October 20 last year. Unable to maintain visual contact with its lead airplane during a formation maneuver, one pilot collided with the other, according to a statement from the Air Force.

The pilot in the lead airplane subsequently ejected and suffered minor injuries during the ejection, according to the report. His airplane crashed near Moline. Nobody on the ground was hurt and there was no significant damage to the property where the airplane crashed. The other pilot continued flying and landed at the Tulsa Air National Guard Base in Oklahoma. Five feet were missing from the right wing tip of the airplane.

Both pilots were from the 125th Fighter Squadron and they were flying F-16s from the 138th Fighter Wing, based in Tulsa, Oklahoma. The Air Force estimated the total loss to government property added up to $22.5 million.

Get exclusive online content like this delivered straight to your inbox by signing up for our free enewsletter.