News

Pilot of crashed U.S. fighter plane found dead in Virginia

Pilot of crashed U.S. fighter plane found dead in Virginia

A Massachusetts Air National Guard aircraft maintainer walks past an F-15C fighter aircraft at Barnes Air National Guard Base, in Westfield, Mass., Wednesday, Aug. 27, 2014. Photo: Associated Press/Steven Senne

By Ian Simpson

(Reuters) – The pilot of a Massachusetts Air National Guard F-15C fighter that crashed in mountainous western Virginia was found dead on Thursday, officials said.

The plane went down on Wednesday in the George Washington and Jefferson National Forests about 100 miles southwest of Washington, sending up a thick plume of smoke.

More than 100 police and rescue personnel searched the rugged area, backed by helicopters and other aircraft, Massachusetts’ Barnes Air National Guard Base said in a statement.

The base said on Thursday that the pilot was fatally injured in the crash in the remote mountains near Deerfield Valley, Virginia.

“Our thoughts and prayers are with the family and we are doing all we can to support them during this very difficult time,” Col. James Keefe, Commander, 104th Fighter Wing, said in a statement.

The pilot’s name was being withheld pending notification of family members and will be released when appropriate, the statement said. The investigation into the crash was ongoing.

A report by a witness of seeing a parachute before the crash proved to be unfounded, it said.

The single-seat, twin-engine plane was part of the 104th Fighter Wing of the Massachusetts Air National Guard, stationed at the Barnes base in Westfield, Massachusetts.

The airplane was being flown to New Orleans to receive a system upgrade and was not carrying munitions, the statement said.

The pilot reported an inflight emergency shortly before contact was lost with the Washington flight controller.

The F-15 is designed by McDonnell Douglas, a unit of Boeing Co. It has been in U.S. service since the 1970s.

Latest Headlines

in Entertainment

This weekend in entertainment history

michael-jackson

A look at some of Hollywood's most memorable headlines.

in Music

Turn it down: Study says millions at risk for hearing loss

earphones

A new study shows almost half of all 12 to 35-year-olds listen to unsafe levels of music on their personal audio devices or cellphones.

in Music

This week’s top alternative tracks

decemberists

LISTEN: This week's top alternative songs, according to the weekly Billboard chart.

in Entertainment, Viral Videos

What color is this dress?

19-overlay6

The "great dress debate" has been dividing the Internet. Are you team #WhiteandGold or team #BlueandBlack?

in Entertainment

PHOTOS: Leonard Nimoy through the years

AP8209190316_5

Although he capped his "Star Trek" run with a notable career as both an actor and director, in the public's mind he will always be Spock.