COOK COUNTY (WALB) - An A-10 War Plane from Moody Air Force Base crashed in South Georgia at 2:45pm Monday.
Authorities tell us the plane went down Monday afternoon in the area of Antioch Church Road in Cook County.
"I saw the plane circling really low this afternoon," said Matt Faggioni. He was at his farm when he saw the A-10C Thunderbolt flying so low he said, "I could actually see his helmet inside the jet and saw the camouflage on the wings."
Little did he know that jet, one of two A-10C Thunderbolts on a routine exercise may have been in distress. It was just before 3 o'clock when the jet crashed into what officials describe as a sand pit, exploding on impact.
"I was sitting on the back porch and heard a big boom," said Carl Williams. What he saw next was the pilot ejecting from the aircraft.
"I saw a parachute coming down and another jet flying over," he said.
The pilot was taken to Memorial Hospital in Adel and is expected to be ok. At a news conference Monday night at Moody, the commander of the 23rd Fighter Wing said an investigation into the cause of the crash is already underway.
"Over the next few weeks, a trained safety investigation board will focus their exclusive efforts on collecting evidence from the scene and gathering and analyzing all data with the specific purpose of preventing future mishaps," said Col. Billy D. Thompson, USAF.
Thompson says it could take up to 60 days before safety investigation board releases its report on the cause of the crash.
According to USAF document, the last crash involving a jet attached to Moody AFB occurred in May 2010. In that case, an A-10 Thunderbolt, also known by its nickname "Warthog", crashed after take off. The pilot safely ejected but the $17 million aircraft was destroyed.
The name of the pilot was not released at press time.
There were no training flights scheduled Monday night at Moody.
Base officials tell us they'll decide in the morning whether to implement any sort of safety stand-down while they investigate the crash, or whether they will allow all training to go ahead as scheduled.
Below is a Press Release from Moody Air Force Base
MOODY AIR FORCE BASE, Ga. -- An Air Force A-10C pilot assigned to the 23rd Wing ejected from an aircraft during a routine mission at approximately 2:45 p.m. today in a non residential area northeast of Berlin, Georgia in Cook County.
The pilot was transported by ambulance to Memorial Hospital of Adel for medical evaluation and is currently under examination and is reported to be in stable condition.
The pilot has been in contact with base leaders.
The pilot's name is being withheld until his family is notified.
Moody and Cook County emergency response personnel were dispatched and proceeded to the accident scene. They are securing the scene.
The A-10C did not have any ordnance on board.
The aircraft incident is still under investigation.
Additional details will be provided as information becomes available.
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