The search for the missing pilot Air Force Capt. Nicholas Giglio of the 20th Fighter Wing of Shaw Air Force Base is in full swing.
Capt. Nicholas Giglio of the 20th Fighter Wing at Shaw went missing about 8:30 p.m. Thursday after a mid-air collision with another Shaw F-16. The other F-16 was piloted by Capt. Lee Bryant, who was able to land safely at Charleston Air Force Base. Bryant was examined by Air Force medical personnel and is unharmed.
The aircraft were participating in night training maneuvers.
As of 11 a.m., the Coast Guard, with assistance from the Air Force, was combing a rectangle-shaped area of approximately 1,000 square miles about 30 miles northeast of Charleston. The initial search focused on a smaller area of about 725 square miles about 40 miles off Folly Beach.
"It has shifted slightly more east," said Coast Guard Petty Officer Bobby Nash, Sumter Item reports.
It was also reported, an HH-65C Dolphin rescue helicopter crew from Air Station Savannah, Ga., a C-130 Hercules fixed-wing aircraft crew from Air Station Clearwater, Fla., the Charleston based 87-foot Coast Guard Cutter Yellowfin, rescue boat crews from Station Georgetown, S.C., and Station Charleston have been searching since Thursday, Systems reports.
Sumter Item quoted Coast Guard Petty Officer Bobby Nash as saying, "We're out there to save a life. And there are a lot of things that are working for the pilot right now. There's his Air Force training. (Air Force) pilots are well trained and have plenty of survival gear on board, including rafts and flairs and signaling devices, which is not what your average boater would have. There is (also) all the rescue equipment that we have on board. We just have to remain confident that if he's out there, we can find him and bring him home."
It was also reported, Giglio has been a fighter pilot for 18 months. Officials said he has been at Shaw Air Force Base in Sumter for a short time, Philadelphia Inquirer reports.