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08272014 - UPDATE: 104th Fighter Wing Aircraft Crash Over Shenandoah Valley, Virginia

Release Number: 020814

At approximately 9:05 a.m. today Washington Center Air Traffic Control in Washington, D.C. lost radio contact with an F-15C aircraft stationed at the 104th Fighter Wing, and at approximately 9:30 a.m. the 104th learned that the aircraft had crashed in a remote site on the Virginia/West Virginia border near Deerfield Valley, Virginia.

The single seat F-15C aircraft was enroute to Naval Air Station New Orleans to receive a radar system upgrade. Today's 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.

"Our thoughts and prayers go out to the pilot and his family, regardless of outcome, this is a traumatic event and we remain vigilant as the search and recovery effort is underway," said Col. James Keefe, 104th Fighter Wing Commander.

A rescue mission is being conducted by the Virginia Army National Guard, Virginia Air National Guard, local fire and police agencies, Virginia State Police and federal agencies. The vicinity of the crash site is densely wooded and mountainous, which presents communication challenges for rescue assets deployed to the area. An investigation is ongoing.

More information will be released once available.


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Barnes Air National Guard Base
104th Fighter Wing - Public Affairs Office
175 Falcon Drive, Westfield, MA 01085

Contacts:
Lt Anthony Mutti, 104fw.pa@ang.af.mil
Office: 413-568-9151 x698-1263


The 104th Fighter Wing is equipped with the F-15 Eagle. One mission of the 104th is Aerospace Control Alert (ACA), providing armed fighters ready to scramble in a moment's notice to protect the Northeast from any airborne threat. The unit is responsible for protecting a quarter of the nation's population and one third of the Gross Domestic Product.