Military: F-15 Pilot Died in Virginia Crash

2-day search comes to sad end

By Newser Editors and Wire Services

Posted Aug 29, 2014 12:53 AM CDT

(Newser) – The pilot of an F-15 jet that crashed this week in remote Virginia mountains was killed, military officials said yesterday, bringing to a sad end an exhaustive two-day search involving more than 100 local, state, and federal officials as well as volunteers. The Massachusetts Air National Guard pilot, whose identity was not disclosed, was en route to New Orleans for radar installation as part of routine maintenance and reported an inflight emergency before losing radio contact.

"Today was a tough day for the Massachusetts Air National Guard," the guard's commander, Brig. Gen. Robert Brooks, said at a news conference. Brooks said rescuers found evidence at the crash site yesterday that the pilot did not eject. When asked for specifics, he said, "We just found evidence that the ejection seat was with the aircraft." Brooks would not comment on whether the pilot's remains had been found, but only said, "We bring every airman home." The investigation into what caused the crash of the single-seat jet is ongoing and will take several weeks, he said.

Col. James Keefe, commander of the 104th Fighter Wing of the Massachusetts Air National Guard, announces the pilot's death.
Col. James Keefe, commander of the 104th Fighter Wing of the Massachusetts Air National Guard, announces the pilot's death.   (AP Photo/The Republican, Dave Roback)
A helicopter takes off near search team members in Augusta County, Va.
A helicopter takes off near search team members in Augusta County, Va.   (AP photo/The News Leader, Mike Tripp)
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