Pilots OK after Navy jets collide | NevadaAppeal.com

Pilots OK after Navy jets collide

STEVE RANSON
Nevada Appeal News Service

FALLON – The U.S. Navy is investigating a mid-air collision that injured two pilots north of Austin on Monday night.

Zip Upham, public affairs officer for Naval Air Station Fallon, said the single seat, F/A-18E Super Hornet jets were flying a training mission when the collision occurred around 10 p.m. Monday at the Fallon Range Training Complex.

One pilot ejected. The other was able to return to NAS Fallon, about 90 miles west of the collision site.

Upham said the pilot who ejected landed in waist-deep snow and had to wait about 90 minutes to be rescued by the base’s search and rescue helicopter. He was taken to Banner Churchill Community Hospital where he was treated for mild hypothermia and released.

The other pilot was examined as a precaution and released.

“We’re happy both pilots are safe, and they came through the mishap with minimal bodily injury,” Upham said.

Both Upham and Capt. Mike Glaser, commanding officer of NAS Fallon, said they do not have specific information on how the collision occurred.

“They were wingmen training together on the same mission,” Upham said.

Glaser said he was proud of the search and rescue team for its quick recovery of the pilot. Because of the steep terrain, the helicopter could not land.

“They (search and rescue personnel) had to rappel down to the site, and then do a hoist rescue to get the pilot on board,” Upham said.

Both aircraft are assigned to a squadron out of Lemoore, Calif. Because of the ongoing investigation, the names of the pilots were not released.