Kingsville, TX Air Force Jet Crash At Air Show, Mar 2000


Kingsville, Texas (AP) - The pilot of an Air Force F-16 Fighting Falcon who died in a fiery crash at an air show Sunday was highly experienced in the jet with more than 10 years' experience, including 130 combat sorties.
MAJ. BRISON PHILLIPS was a member of the 78th Fighter Squadron from Shaw Air Force Base near Sumter, S.C., and commander of the Ninth Air Force Demonstration Team, said Senior Airman Christopher Moore, a Shaw spokesman.
He had more than 2,600 flight hours
and 2,300 hours in the F-16, Moore said.
PHILLIPS had also flown combat missions in Iraq during operations Desert Storm, Desert Shield and Northern Watch, and over Bosnia during Operation Deny Flight.
The jet piloted by PHILLIPS, 35, went down Sunday afternoon while performing aerobatic maneuvers as part of Air Show 2000 near Kingsville Naval Air Station.
The plane exploded, scattering debris for half a mile in a field about six miles north of the naval base about 12:45 p.m., said Navy Master Chief Jim Rostohar of NAS Kingsville.
Rostohar said a member of PHILLIPS' demonstration team said he crashed while performing a maneuver called a split-S, or a vertical turnaround.
"It looked as if he was trying to get the nose up," Rostohar said.
An Air Force investigative team was expected to arrive Sunday night to begin piecing together what caused the plane to go down.
The maintenance record of the plane, which was flown from South Carolina to Texas, was unavailable Sunday night, Moore said.
The rest of the air show, which was scheduled to include a performance by the Blue Angels, was canceled, Rostohar said. Investigators closed off the crash site and were beginning to search the wreckage for a reason why the plane went down.

Index Journal Greenwood South Carolina 2000-03-20