Search for missing pilot narrowed to Crawford Mountain area


policecar3The search for the missing 104th Fighter Wing pilot continues near the crash site in the Washington National Forest near Deerfield Valley, Virginia.

An F-15C Eagle assigned to the 104th Fighter Wing crashed at approximately 9:05 a.m. Wednesday; radio contact with the pilot was lost about 5 minutes earlier. Over the last 24 hours teams of Military, State and Federal agencies have been active in a search and rescue operation.

The search efforts are centered around the southeast side of Crawford Mountain, near the Washington National Forest. Rescue efforts include more than 9 aircraft, including a specially equipped HC-130 aircraft assigned to Moody Air Force Base, Ga., this aircraft has equipment designed specifically for search and rescue operations. Additionally the 104th Fighter Wing has 16 members on site assisting in securing the site and coordinating the rescue operations.

There continues to be more than 100 state police, sheriff’s deputies and fire and rescue personnel on scene. Approximately 10 search-and-rescue teams are on the ground searching along logging roads, fire trails and forest roads, according to Corinne Geller, Virginia State Police Public Relations Manager.

Additionally the 104th Fighter Wing continues to provide support to its family during this event, standing up its Emergency Family Assistance Center as well as working with immediate family of the pilot. “Our priorities are to both assist in the search and rescue operations, but also provide support to the family of our pilot as well as the unit here at home,” said Col James Keefe, 104th Fighter Wing Commander.

The search for the missing pilot and the investigation into the crash are ongoing.



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