Military Jet Collides With Plane
By VICKIE CHACHERE, Associated Press Writer
SARASOTA, Fla. (AP) - An Air Force F-16 collided with a small plane Thursday and crashed in flames. One person aboard the small plane was killed, while the fighter pilot parachuted to safety onto a golf course and walked to someone's house to use the phone.
Pieces of the small plane, a Cessna, landed on the golf course. The wreckage of the fighter jet started a fire in the woods a few miles away.
No injuries were reported on the ground.
One person aboard the Cessna was killed, said Henry Sheffield, a district fire chief. The fighter pilot ejected safely.
Gerald Rivera was working on a construction site nearby. ``We asked the pilot if he was OK and he said, `Yeah,''' Rivera told the Sarasota Herald Tribune.
The Air Force said the jet was from Moody Air Force Base in Valdosta, Ga., but was on a training mission that originated from Florida's MacDill Air Force Base, about 20 miles from the crash site.
Sheriff Charles Wells said two F-16s were on the training mission but only one was involved in the crash.
Don McIlwain, who lives nearby, said he saw the two military jets and then noticed a smaller plane that looked as if it would cross their path. McIlwain said he remembered thinking, ``I hope it's high enough.''
``Just as I said that, he went right through it,'' McIlwain told the Tribune. ``The small plane just disintegrated.''
In August, there were three U.S. crashes involving an F-16. http://dailynews.yahoo.com/h/ap/20001116/us/military_crash_6.html