F-5 pilots recovering after midair collision | NevadaAppeal.com

F-5 pilots recovering after midair collision

Associated Press Writer

RENO ” Two pilots were recovering from injuries Saturday, a day after two fighter jets from the Fallon Naval Air Station collided over northern Nevada.

The pilots were in a two-seater F-5 Tiger that collided with an F/A-18C Hornet whose pilot was killed.

The pilots who parachuted to safety were rescued about 50 miles east of the air station, where they were assigned.

They were released after treatment for bruises and other minor injuries late Friday afternoon at Banner Churchill Medical Center in Fallon, said Zip Upham, a base spokesman.

The deceased pilot was based at Naval Air Station Oceana in Virginia Beach, Va.

The Navy was hoping to release his name sometime over the weekend, said Mike Maus, a spokesman for the Atlantic Fleet Naval Air Force based in Norfolk, Va.

“Now, the focus becomes the concern for the pilot and taking care of his family,” Upham said Saturday.

The Navy had no plans to release the names of the two other pilots, Upham said.

The cause of the crash was under investigation by a Navy team.

“My expectation is that it’ll take about a week to gather physical evidence out at the scene and it’ll take a lot longer before they conclude the investigation,” Upham said.

The wreckage was scattered over a wide area near the community of Middlegate along U.S. Highway 50, some 110 miles east of Reno.

The air station, about 60 miles east of Reno, is home to the Navy’s elite Strike and Air Warfare Center. The center was formed in 1996 with the consolidation of the Navy fighter Weapons School known as “Top Gun” and the Carrier Airborne Early Warning Weapons School, or “Top Dome.”