Search for F-16 Pilot Called Off

Col. Joe Guastella, 20th Fighter Wing commander at Shaw AFB, S.C., acknowledged at 10 p.m. Saturday that an intense search had not revealed any trace of Capt. Nicholas Giglio, missing since his F-16 collided with another Viper over the Atlantic Ocean Thursday evening. Guastella said the ongoing accident investigation had “revealed that the mid-air collision itself was traumatic. The speed and geometry of the impact breached the canopy of Captain Giglio’s aircraft and leads us to conclude the trauma he sustained was fatal. He never had the opportunity to eject.” Although foul weather hampered search operations, the search team had located debris on Friday that officials believe came from Giglio’s F-16. The Coast Guard on Saturday at 10 p.m. suspended the rescue operation, which had covered some 8,000 square nautical miles over a 48-hour period. (Shaw Oct. 18 release; AFPS Oct. 16 release; Coast Guard release)