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.

Recent Headlines

in Local

Judge: Sex-Harassment Case Against Rutherford May Proceed

CT  MET-AJ-RUTHERFORD

A federal judge has ruled allegations of sexual harassment against former Illinois Treasurer Dan Rutherford can go to trial over the objections of state lawyers.

in Local

EPA: No Chemicals Detected in Air Near Oil Train Fire

fire

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency says no chemicals have been detected in the air near an oil train that derailed and burst into flames in western Illinois.

in Local

Palazzolo Proposes City Department Consolidation, “Neighborhood Coordinator”

palazzolo

Springfield mayoral candidate Paul Palazzolo wants to create a new city position if elected he says will help consolidate a number of city departments under one umbrella.

in Local

Davis, Shimkus Support Tax Credits for Food Pantry Donations

foodbank

You donate money, land, an old car -- and you can write it off on your taxes. A bill in Congress would allow you to also claim a deduction for donating to food banks.

in Local

Pumpkin Pie: Illinois’ State Pie?

Seal_of_Illinois

Illinois could have an official pie.