Missing pilot in Deerfield jet crash confirmed dead
The pilot’s name is being withheld pending notification of family members and will be released when appropriate.
“Our thoughts and prayers are with the family and we are doing all we can to support them during this very difficult time,” said Col. James Keefe, Commander, 104th Fighter Wing. “We ask that everyone respect the privacy of the family and allow them the time they need to grieve,” added Keefe.
A press conference with the 104th Fighter Wing Commander, Col. James Keefe, is scheduled for approximately 10:00 p.m. at the entrance to the 104th Fighter Wing. An additional press conference with Brig. Gen. Robert Brooks, Commander of the Massachusetts Air National Guard, is schedule on-site in Deerfield, Va. for approximately 10:15 p.m.
An official safety investigation board is being convened and the investigation into the crash is ongoing.
At approximately 9:05 a.m. Wednesday, Washington Center Air Traffic Control in Washington, D.C. lost radio contact with the F-15C aircraft stationed at the 104th Fighter Wing, Mass., and at approximately 9:30 a.m. the 104th Fighter Wing learned that the aircraft had crashed in a remote site near Deerfield Valley, Va.
The single seat F-15C aircraft was en route to Naval Air Station New Orleans to receive a radar system upgrade. The flight was not related to the 104th Fighter Wing’s homeland defense mission, and there were no munitions on the aircraft during this flight. The pilot was flying a solo mission when he reported an in-flight emergency prior to the loss of radio contact with Washington Center.