F-16, Cessna collide over Moncks Corner

UPDATE: 10:04 A.M.
Berkeley County Coroner Bill Salisbury says that the body of 30-year-old Joseph Johnson of Moncks Corner was located by divers at 4:30 pm on Wednesday, July 8. Mr. Johnson was the missing pilot from the plane collision involving an F-16 and a Cessna. An autopsy of both bodies will be done on Thursday, July 9. His father, Michael Johnson, 68, was the passenger in the Cessna that crashed and killed both of them. Michael Johnson’s body was found Wednesday, July 7. At that time, they had found Joseph Johnson’s wallet, but not his body.

Funeral arrangements have been made for Michael and Joseph Johnson. A memorial service will be held at 4:00 PM on Saturday, July 11, 2015 in the First Baptist Church (112 East Main Street in Moncks Corner). The family will receive friends at the church on Saturday from 2:00 PM until the hour of service. In lieu of flowers, the family requests memorials be made to the First Baptist Church (112 East Main Street, Moncks Corner, SC 29461), to the American Cancer Society (5900 Core Road, Suite 504, North Charleston, SC 29406), or to the Salvation Army (203 White Street, Moncks Corner, SC 29461) The arrangements are being directed by Dial-Murray Funeral Home. Any questions about the services should be made directly to Dial-Murray.

Courtesy: Facebook, Joseph Johnson
Courtesy: Facebook, Joseph Johnson

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The Berkeley County Coroner confirmed the identities of the two people on board a Cessna that collided in mid-air with an F-16.

Michael Johnson, 68, and his son, Joseph Johnson, 30, were killed when the collision happened just after 11am Tuesday over Lewisfield Plantation. Joseph Johnson was piloting the plane, and last night, his uncle told News2 that he was hoping to become a commercial pilot. The uncle says the two were flying to Myrtle Beach, and then cross-country, to log the training hours Joe needed.

Michael Johnson’s wife also posted on Facebook last night, saying “My beautiful, big-hearted son and his awesome father died today in a plane crash… please keep me in your prayers.”

At a press conference in Moncks Corner on Wednesday, the NTSB joined the Bill Salisbury, Berkeley County Coroner and Chief of Berkeley County Rescue Squad and Berkeley County Sheriff, Duane Lewis. The NTSB said they will be leading the investigation of the crash and are focusing on the accident site of the Cessna on Wednesday and the F-16 accident site on Thursday. The public docket will eventually be released including photos and statements from witnesses and 60 to 90 days after the release of the docket, a summary of what happened will be released.

A news release from Shaw Air Force Base in Sumter says the jet pilot ejected safely and parachuted to the ground.

 

Berkeley County Rescue Squad posted this video of the search on the water.

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A relative says her brother and nephew were killed in the small plane, just days after another sibling was slain. Connie Stallworth says her brother Jim Johnson died just days earlier. Authorities say he and his wife, Beverly, were slain by their grandson, who has been charged with second-degree murder.

Berkeley County Coroner Bill Salisbury says 68-year-old Michael Johnson was a passenger in the Cessna destroyed in the collision with the F-16. Stallworth says he was her brother. Authorities are still looking for the body of Michael Johnson’s 30-year-old son Joseph.

Stallworth says she is “dumbfounded that it happened twice in a few days.”

Tuesday, July 7
MONCKS CORNER, SC – Officials say an F-16 fighter jet collided with a Cessna over South Carolina, killing two people aboard the smaller plane on Tuesday, July 7. The Air Force pilot ejected safely, however. Maj. Morshe Araujo, a spokeswoman at Air Force headquarters at the Pentagon, says the F-16 originated from Shaw Air Force Base in South Carolina.

National Transportation Safety Board spokesman Peter Knudson confirmed Tuesday afternoon that two people were in the Cessna. Both were killed, and he says the Cessna was destroyed.

Lt. Jenny Hyden, a spokeswoman for Shaw Air Force Base in Sumter, said earlier in the day that the pilot was taken to the base for observation and was expected to head back to Shaw AFB that evening.

Officials have confirmed the identity of the F-16 pilot as Air Force Major Aaron Johnson.

The Federal Aviation Administration said in a statement that the collision happened around 11 a.m. Tuesday morning, about 11 miles north of Charleston.

The investigation will be turned over to the United States Air Force.

Initial reports of plane crash:
News 2 has confirmed with Berkeley County spokesperson Michael Mule that at approximately 11:03am on Tuesday, July 7, there was a plane crash near Lewisfield Plantation in Moncks Corner. Berkeley County officials have confirmed that the pilot of the military aircraft (F-16) ejected safely and has been transported by Berkeley County EMS to the hospital.

Berkeley County has confirmed there is debris scattered over rice field at Lewisfield Plantation. If you find debris, do not touch it, please call 9-1-1 so that authorities can collect it for evidence.

A witness called News 2 and said he saw two planes collide in the air and saw a huge explosion, describing it as a “ball of fire in the air.”

 

Here’s a timeline on the plane collision:

Wednesday, July 8, 7:54 a.m.

MONCKS CORNER, S.C. (AP) — Federal investigators and local authorities are combing through a wide swath of rural, sparsely populated land as they try to determine what caused an F-16 fighter jet to slam into a small plane over South Carolina, killing the plane’s pilot and passenger.

The Cessna 150 was completely destroyed by Tuesday’s collision near Moncks Corner, South Carolina.

Berkeley County officials tweeted late Tuesday that Coroner Bill Salisbury will announce the names of the two victims Wednesday. An investigator from the National Transportation Safety Board is joining the investigation and the agency has scheduled a news conference Wednesday to discuss its initial findings.

A news release from Shaw Air Force Base in Sumter says the jet pilot ejected safely and parachuted to the ground.

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4:30 p.m. (7/7)

Officials say an F-16 fighter jet collided with a Cessna over South Carolina, killing two people aboard the smaller plane. The Air Force pilot ejected safely, however.

National Transportation Safety Board spokesman Peter Knudson confirmed Tuesday afternoon that two people were in the Cessna. Both were killed, and he says the Cessna was destroyed.

Knudson says the pilot of the F-16 ejected and “is apparently uninjured.” He says there are not yet any details on what caused the collision or where the planes were traveling.

Lt. Jenny Hyden, a spokeswoman for Shaw Air Force Base in Sumter, said earlier in the day that the pilot was taken to the base for observation.

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1:30 p.m. (7/7)

An Air Force spokeswoman says the pilot of a crashed F-16 fighter jet ejected to safety.

Maj. Morshe Araujo, a spokeswoman at Air Force headquarters at the Pentagon, says the F-16 originated from Shaw Air Force Base in South Carolina. Araujo says the pilot of the jet, which collided with a Cessna, ejected safely.

Lt. Jenny Hyden at Shaw Air Force Base says the pilot was taken to the base for observation, though she did not disclose his condition.

The Federal Aviation Administration said in a statement that collision happened around 11 a.m. Tuesday about 11 miles north of Charleston.

It was not immediately known how many people were on board the smaller plane or if any of them survived.

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1:20 p.m. (7/7)

An Air Force official says the pilot of a crashed F-16 fighter jet has been taken to a base in South Carolina for observation.

Lt. Jenny Hyden at Shaw Air Force Base says the pilot was taken to the base for observation, though she did not disclose his condition.

The Federal Aviation Administration said in a statement that the fighter jet collided with a Cessna around 11 a.m. Tuesday about 11 miles north of Charleston.

It was not immediately known how many people were on board the smaller plane or if any of them survived.

Shaw Air Force Base said in a statement that a team of investigators would look into the cause of the crash.

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12:30 p.m. (7/7)

Federal officials say an F-16 fighter jet and a small plane have collided in midair in South Carolina.

The Federal Aviation Administration said in a statement Tuesday that the fighter jet collided with a Cessna C150 around 11 a.m. The collision happened about 11 miles north of Charleston.

Col. Cindi King of the South Carolina Air National Guard says the F-16 involved in the crash did not belong to the Guard.

No other details were immediately available.

North Charleston Fire Department spokeswoman Bianca Bourbeau says the agency has sent a chief and a marine unit to assist Berkeley County with a reported plane crash, and will send other help as needed.

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12:20 p.m(7/7)

Federal officials say an F-16 fighter jet and a small plane have collided in midair in South Carolina.

The Federal Aviation Administration said in a statement Tuesday that the fighter jet collided with a Cessna C150 around 11 a.m. The collision happened about 11 miles north of Charleston.

No other details were immediately available.

North Charleston Fire Department spokeswoman Bianca Bourbeau says the agency has sent a chief and a marine unit to assist Berkeley County with a reported plane crash, and will send other help as needed.

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RELATED:
SCONFIRE.COM confirmed the crash in a post on facebook:

Southern Charm castmember, Kathryn Dennis grew up on Lewisfield Plantation and sent out this tweet:

Story Developing. Stay with News 2 for updates.

(The Associated Press contributed to this story)

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