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The pilot of an F-15 jet that crashed in remote Virginia mountains was killed, military officials said, bringing to a sad ...
end an exhaustive two-day search involving more than 100 local, state and federal officials as well as volunteers. (Aug. 29)
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SHOTLIST:WSHM - COURTESY WSHM, EMBARGO SPRINGFIELDWestfield, Massachusetts - August 28, 2014++AUDIO AS INCOMING++1. SOUNDBITE (English) Colonel James Keefe, Commander, 104th Fighter Wing, Massachusetts Air National Guard:"I stand before you to share some unfortunate news in the fate of our missing pilot. I recieved notification from the site investigation team this evening that our pilot did not survive the accident. He died as a result of injuries sustained during his crash. This is a devastating day for the family of our pilot and the members of the 104th Fighter Wing and the entire F-15 community. These tragedies remind us of the risk our brave men and women in uniform take every day. Due to the nature of the incident our investigations team could not enter the crash site safely yesterday, until later this afternoon. Upon their initial survey they determined that our pilot did not safely eject from the aircraft. The pilot was pronounced decease by our on scene members of the crash investigation team in Virginia. At this time we are officially transitioning from a search and rescue effort to a search and recovery operation." STORYLINE:The pilot of an F-15 jet that crashed this week in remote Virginia mountains was killed, military officials said Thursday, bringing to a sad end an exhaustive two-day search involving more than 100 local, state and federal officials as well as volunteers. Col. James Keefe announced the news at the Massachusetts Air National Guard in Westfield, Massachusetts, home of the 104th Fighter Wing, where the pilot and jet were based. Rescuers found evidence at the crash site Thursday that the pilot did not eject. The investigation into what caused the crash of the single-seat jet is ongoing and will take several weeks.The pilot's family had been informed and his identity would be made public Friday. The jet crashed in the mountains of western Virginia on Wednesday morning, shaking residents but causing no injuries on the ground. Investigators said the jet hit the ground at a high rate of speed, leaving a deep crater and a large debris field in a heavily wooded area adjacent to a mountain in the George Washington National Forest.Authorities said the pilot was headed to New Orleans for radar installation as part of routine maintenance and reported an inflight emergency before losing radio contact.