WESTFIELD, Mass. (AP) — The pilot of an F-15 jet that crashed this
week in remote Virginia mountains was killed, military officials said
Col. James Keefe said his "thoughts and prayers are with the family" of the pilot, whose identity wasn't disclosed.
The pilot and jet were with the 104th Fighter Wing of the Massachusetts Air National Guard.
The F-15 fighter jet crashed in the mountains of western Virginia on
Wednesday, shaking residents but causing no injuries on the ground.
Authorities said the pilot of the single-seat jet was headed to New
Orleans for radar installation as part of routine maintenance and
reported an inflight emergency before losing radio contact.
Search teams had been looking for the pilot since shortly after the
jet crashed around 9 a.m. Wednesday. More than 100 local, state and
federal officials as well as volunteers took part in the effort.
Officials haven't said whether the pilot ejected or what caused the
crash, which left a deep crater and a large debris field in a heavily
wooded but level area adjacent to a mountain in the George Washington
They said an official safety investigation board is being convened and the investigation into the crash was ongoing.
Keefe said at a news conference Wednesday in Westfield, home of the
fighter wing, that there were no munitions onboard the jet at the time
of the crash.
Keefe said the plane was flying at about 30,000 to 40,000 feet when
the pilot reported the emergency. Pilots are trained to release
equipment when ejecting, Keefe said, so it was likely the pilot did not
have a radio.
F-15s are maneuverable tactical fighters that can reach speeds up to
1,875 mph, according to the Air Force website. The F-15C Eagle entered
the Air Force inventory in 1979 and costs nearly $30 million, the
website says. The Air Force has nearly 250 F-15s.
Several F-15s have crashed over the past few years in various states.
In at least one, the pilot ejected safely. Causes included failure of a
support structure for the jet and pilot error.
Terms & Conditions
Contact WEAR ABC Channel 3
FCC Public File
EEO Public File Report
Sinclair Digital Solutions
© 2014, WEAR ABC 3 | Portions are Copyright 2014 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or distributed.
WEAR, ABC 3 is the ABC affiliate for Northwest Florida and South Alabama that provides local news, weather forecasts, traffic updates, notices of events and items of interest in the community, sports and entertainment programming for Pensacola, Florida and Mobile, Alabama and nearby towns and communities in the Gulf Coast area, including in Florida: Pensacola, Gulf Breeze, Cantonment, Century, Jay, Pace, Milton, Perdido Key, Pensacola Beach, Navarre, Fort Walton Beach, Valparaiso, Niceville, Destin, Sandestin, Wright, Holt, Crestview, Baker, Chumuckla; and in Alabama: Orange Beach, Robertsdale, Gulf Shores, Stapleton, Elberta, Fairhope, Daphne, Prichard, Chickasaw, Saraland, Satsuma, Tilman’s Corner, Theodore, Bayou la Batre, Dauphin Island, Foley, Bay Minette, Atmore, Flomaton, Brewton, Florala, Semmes, Spanish Fort, and Lillian.