The Air Force will pay more than $500,000 to an elementary school mistakenly shot by an F-16 two years ago. Under a settlement announced yesterday, the Air Force will pay $519,070 in compensation to the Little Egg Harbor Intermediate School. The building was damaged by 27 rounds of inert 20-mm ammunition from an air cannon mounted on the plane during a 2004 nighttime mission over New Jersey. The military blamed the pilot for the accident, but also said poorly designed controls in the F-16 played a role.
“The Air Force has done the right thing,” said Rep. Jim Saxton (R-Burlington). “Their agreement goes a long way towards repairing the actual damages to the school building as well as keeping their relationship with the community healthy.”
This from a blogger in 2004.
Thursday, November 04, 2004
F-16 Strafes New Jersey School
The Associated Press reports that a National Guard F-16 fighter jet strafed the Little Egg Harbor Intermediate School. The aircraft was on a nighttime training mission. The school was hit by twenty five rounds:
Police were called when a custodian who was the only person in the school at the time heard what sounded like someone running across the roof.
Police Chief Mark Siino said officers noticed punctures in the roof. Ceiling tiles had fallen into classrooms, and there were scratch marks in the asphalt outside.
The military is investigating the incident, which took place at the Little Egg Harbor Intermediate School shortly after 11 p.m. Wednesday.
The commander of the 177th Fighter Wing of the New Jersey Air National Guard said it was unclear why the shots were fired. I think the commander might be mistaken. It seems pretty clear the “shots were fired” because someone screwed up big time.
Somebody has got a lot of explaining to do.
On November 4, 2004, at around 9pm, an F-16 Fighting Falcon jet from the 113th Wing of the District of Columbia Air National Guard, based at Andrews Air Force Base in Maryland on a training mission at the Fort Dix United States Army installation in Warren Grove was climbing upward at 8,000 feet. The test was going pretty well, until a heavy gun from the left wing fired 25 rounds of 20mm ammunition up in the air, and then falling to the ground, with eight striking the school’s roof, and the rest hitting the parking lot, and the side of the building.? … “The fact that it hit a school is terrifying”, said Becky Myers, who was holding her 8-month-old daughter Emily as she spoke. “The school is not out in the middle of nowhere. It could’ve hit across the street into someone’s living room while their little kid was sleeping.”