Monday, June 11, 2007

f-15 and f-16 mid-air

F-15 Fighter Jet Crashes After Mid-Air Collision With Another Military Jet in Alaska

Monday , June 11, 2007

An F-15 fighter jet crashed Monday after colliding in mid-air with another military jet during a training exercise, Air Force officials said. The other jet landed safely, and one was seriously injured.

The pilot of the F-15C ejected safely and was taken a military hospital, said Airman Jennifer Anton, a spokeswoman at Eielson Air Force Base near Fairbanks. The pilot did not have serious injuries, she said.

The pilot of the other jet, an F-16C that landed safely, was uninjured, she said.

It was not immediately clear why the two jets collided at 11:23 a.m. local time during a training exercise about 90 miles east of Fairbanks in Alaska's interior, Anton said. A board of Air Force officers will investigate.

The crash happened at the Pacific Alaska Range Complex, a 60,000-acre training ground.

The $27 million F-15C that crashed was from Langley Air Force Base, Va., and the F-16C was from Nellis Air Force Base, Nev.

The Alaska Air National Guard took the F-15C pilot to Bassett Army Hospital at Fort Wainwright, also near Fairbanks, said McHugh Pierre, a spokesman for the Alaska Department of Military and Veterans Affairs.

The training exercise includes more than 1,400 military members from the U.S., Singapore and Australia. The simulated combat exercise is scheduled to run through June 15, according to Eielson's Web site.

Source Fox News.

I'm fairly certain that this happened during Cope Thunder. Correct me if I'm wrong boys...
A Pacific Air Forces-sponsored exercise initiated in 1976, Cope Thunder was devised as a way to give aircrews their first taste of warfare and quickly grew into PACAF’s "premier simulated combat airpower employment exercise." Prior to Operation Desert Storm, less than one-fifth of the U.S. Air Force’s primary fighter pilots had seen actual combat. While the percentage of combat-experienced pilots has increased in recent years, a high percentage of pilots haven’t been thrust into combat. Analysis indicates most combat losses occurrred during an aircrew’s first eight to 10 missions. Therefore, the goal of Cope Thunder is to provide each aircrew with these first vital missions, increasing their chances of survival in combat environments.
Cope Thunder is a realistic, 10-day air combat training exercise held up to four times a year. Each Cope Thunder exercise is a multi-service, multi-platform coordinated, combat operations exercise and corresponds to the designed operational capability of participating units. In other words, exercises often involve several units whose military mission may differ significantly from that of other participating units. Cope Thunder planners take those factors into consideration when designing exercises so participants get the maximum training possible without being placed at an unfair advantage during simulated combat scenarios.

We're glad you're safe brothers.... I might catch some flack for this, but we have a dangerous job, and fighter pilots have to push the limits. Sometimes pushing those limits means putting yourself in danger, even when you're not in that wartime situation, to make yourself a better pilot.

I'll keep everyone posted on developments.

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