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My Condolences

33rd Fighter Wing

CNN reports Air Force: 1 pilot dies, another survives after F15Cs collide

(CNN) — An Air Force fighter pilot died Wednesday after two F-15C jets collided during a training exercise over the Gulf of Mexico, according to Air Force officials.

The planes were from the 33rd Fighter Wing, a combat-flying unit out of Eglin Air Force Base, near Pensacola, Florida.

A spokesman for the wing said the pilot died after having been rescued by a fishing boat and transported to the hospital at the base. The pilot of the other jet was also rescued and was listed in good condition, he said.

The crash happened at about 3 p.m. ET, about 50 miles south of Tyndall Air Force Base which is in Panama City, Florida. A statement from the 33rd said the pilots were rescued at about 6 p.m. ET.

These guys fly over my house. The base surrounds all of the local towns. These are my neighbors.

8 comments

1 Kryten42 { 02.21.08 at 5:39 am }

My sincere condolences also.

Rest in Peace.

2 andante { 02.21.08 at 5:45 am }

My condolences also. Non-combat military deaths are as much, if not perhaps more, a sacrifice for the country as those in combat.

3 fallenmonk { 02.21.08 at 8:03 am }

It is always a tragedy when someone dies training. It unfortunately happens all to often. The reality is that this work is dangerous and not just for fighter pilots. All our military take risks everyday in training so that they can be prepared when the need arises. That is part of what makes the sacrifice they are making in Iraq so tragic.

4 Bryan { 02.21.08 at 1:04 pm }

The Nomads are the unit that has flown the missions over Iraq since the end of the first Gulf War, they were they unit affected by the Khobar Towers bombing in Saudi Arabia, and they are actively engaged in all current aerial combat.

I have to wonder if, rather than touched wingtips, this wasn’t another F-15C coming apart under stress.

5 Steve Bates { 02.21.08 at 6:08 pm }

This saddens me greatly. Dying in combat and dying in training or preparation for combat are equally to be honored as far as I’m concerned. My condolences.

6 Bryan { 02.21.08 at 8:14 pm }

It’s a bit depressing the number of days the base flags are at half-staff and the number of “missing man” formations when the funerals are local.

7 Badtux { 02.22.08 at 8:13 pm }

I’ve always said that fighter pilots have the best jobs in the world. Birds are jealous of these flyboys. They can do things with their jets that make amusement park rides look like a nap.

This, unfortunately, is the downside of that. Ah well. One thing you can guarantee — this kid died doing what he loved to do. As for the possibility of this being another F-15C that came apart because they’ve been worn out by the Iraq and Afghanistan wars… I just don’t want to think about that right now, because then I’ll start cursing and my blood pressure will shoot up and… well, I’m not going there. Sigh.

– Badtux the Flightless Penguin

8 Bryan { 02.22.08 at 8:48 pm }

He was a First Lieutenant, which would have made him the wingman. The only reason I mentioned the possibility is that the ejection system should have protected the pilot. This wasn’t a normal punch out.