COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) – A preliminary National Transportation Safety Board report says the pilot of an F-16C fighter jet was warned by air traffic control of the presence of a small plane only seconds before a midair collision over rural South Carolina this month.
The July 7 collision claimed the lives of two men on the Cessna. The fighter pilot parachuted to safety.
The report says an air traffic controller informed the fighter pilot at 18 seconds past 11 a.m. that day that a Cessna was about two miles away and the pilot said he was looking for the plane.
At 54 seconds past 11 a.m., the planes were separated by less than 1,000 feet and the tower lost the Cessna on radar. A later report will focus on the cause of the crash.