F-15 Pilot Missing After Virginia Crash

Helicopters searching mountains through the night

By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff

Posted Aug 28, 2014 12:29 AM CDT

(Newser) – A massive search effort is underway in the Virginia mountains for the pilot of an F-15 fighter jet that crashed in the area yesterday morning. A deep crater has been found at the crash site in Augusta County, and it's not clear whether the pilot managed to eject in time, reports the AP. "It is probably 5, 6 miles from the crash site to the nearest civilization," the commander of the 104th Fighter Wing says. "It's deeply wooded, and a lot of hills and mountains." Helicopters are searching the area overnight, as are rescuers on foot and on horseback.

The pilot "has all the training you need as far as survival in the woods and as far as ejection and as far as communications and such if you don't have a radio on you," the commander tells WCVB. "He has been well-trained to survive." The Massachusetts National Guard plane en route to the New Orleans Naval Air Station was flying at about 30,000 to 40,000 feet when it had an emergency, the commander says.

A team walks away from the helicopter they arrived in at the mobile command center in Deerfield, Va., yesterday.
A team walks away from the helicopter they arrived in at the mobile command center in Deerfield, Va., yesterday.   (AP photo/The News Leader, Mike Tripp)
A Massachusetts Air National Guard aircraft maintainer walks past an F-15C fighter aircraft at Barnes Air National Guard Base yesterday.
A Massachusetts Air National Guard aircraft maintainer walks past an F-15C fighter aircraft at Barnes Air National Guard Base yesterday.   (AP Photo/Steven Senne)
A helicopter circles around and prepares to land at the mobile command center in Deerfield, Va., on Wednesday, Aug. 27, 2014.
A helicopter circles around and prepares to land at the mobile command center in Deerfield, Va., on Wednesday, Aug. 27, 2014.   (AP photo/The News Leader, Mike Tripp)
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