- Oct 11, 2003
- Chattanooga, TN.
(www.avweb.com) The FAA says it will likely investigate the complaints of a couple of pilots who say they were intercepted and shadowed, at close range, by an F-16 over Arizona earlier this month. Pilatus PC-12 pilot Patrick McCall and Beech Premier pilot Scott Laromee have both filed near-collision reports with the agency after they say they were aggressively pursued by an F-16 on March 21 in the Gladden Military Operations Area, a training area used by pilots from Luke Air Force Base near Phoenix. The area is open for use by civilian aircraft. In a podcast interview with AVweb, McCall said that when his TCAS activated about 10 a.m. that day while he was cruising at 16,500 (VFR with flight following) he ended up having to dive his aircraft as the target kept closing on him. The target followed him in the dive and when McCall leveled at about 14,000 feet, he was amazed by the view from his side window. “I then looked to my left side of the aircraft and saw an F16 aircraft off of my left wing,” he said in a written report sent to the FAA. “The F16 was no more than 20 feet off of my left wing.” AVweb contacted the media relations department of Luke Air Force Base on Friday and provided copies of both McCall’s and Laromee’s complaints but military officials did not respond to our request for comment by our deadline on Sunday