Massachusetts security forces headed to Virginia F-15 crash site - wistv.com - Columbia, South Carolina

Massachusetts security forces headed to Virginia F-15 crash site

RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) -

Virginia State Police say the ground search for a missing pilot after an F-15 crashed Wednesday will resume at 8 a.m. Thursday.

A specially equipped HC-130 aircraft assigned to Moody Air Force Base has been conducting air operation overnight. The aircraft has specialized equipment designed for low-light/night-time search and rescue operations.

Members of the Massachusetts Air National Guard left for the crash site late Wednesday, hours after witnesses reported seeing a parachute deploy in the air.

The eyewitness accounts of a pilot ejection near Elliot Knob, Va. were first published in the Staunton News Leader, although helicopters have not found a parachute.

Sources confirmed members of the 104th Fighter Wing departed on a C-130 cargo plane from Bradley Air National Guard Base, outside of Hartford, Conn. The team consists of Security Forces personnel and additional specialists who will assist in the rescue operation.

There is hope that Mass. based pilot is still alive, as the search within the George Washington National Forest continues during the overnight and early morning hours.

"Every six months, we go through ejection training," said Col. James Keefe, 104th Fighter Wing Commander. "With initial pilot training, you get all the training you need as far as survival in the woods and as far as ejection."

Search crews continued to look for the pilot from the air and on foot after nightfall. But crews were confined to "hasty searches" on the ground, which remain close to forest roads and fire trails.

The method is used for the safety reasons, as the off-road terrain within the 20 mile search radius is too rocky, wooded and steep for navigation in the dark.

Seven helicopters supported aerial search missions during the daylight hours, with four continuing into the night. Approximately 10 search-and-rescue teams are involved in Thursday's early morning ground search efforts.

At least 100 state police, sheriff's deputies and fire & rescue personnel have been on scene, with the Air Force securing the crash site.

At approximately 9:05 a.m. Wednesday, Washington Center Air Traffic Control in Washington, D.C. lost radio contact with the F-15C aircraft stationed at Massachusetts's 104th Fighter Wing.

At approximately 9:30 a.m. the 104th learned that the aircraft had crashed in a remote area more than two hours west of Richmond.

According to the National Guard, the single seat F-15C was en route to Naval Air Station New Orleans to receive a radar system upgrade. The flight was not related to a homeland defense mission, and there were no munitions on the fighter jet.

The experienced 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 Keefe.

Copyright 2014 WWBT NBC12. All rights reserved

  • South Carolina news on WIStv.comNEWSMore>>

  • US Marines' bravery celebrated 100 years after French battle

    US Marines' bravery celebrated 100 years after French battle

    Sunday, May 27 2018 8:04 AM EDT2018-05-27 12:04:22 GMT
    Monday, May 28 2018 3:36 AM EDT2018-05-28 07:36:57 GMT
    (AP Photo/Virginia Mayo). U.S. Marine Corps soldiers stand beneath the U.S. flag during a Memorial Day commemoration at the Aisne-Marne American Cemetery in Belleau, France, Sunday, May 27, 2018.(AP Photo/Virginia Mayo). U.S. Marine Corps soldiers stand beneath the U.S. flag during a Memorial Day commemoration at the Aisne-Marne American Cemetery in Belleau, France, Sunday, May 27, 2018.

    High-ranking military officials from the U.S., France and Germany have taken part in Memorial Day ceremonies at an American cemetery in northern France to mark the centennial of the battle of Belleau Wood, a key...

    More >>

    High-ranking military officials from the U.S., France and Germany have taken part in Memorial Day ceremonies at an American cemetery in northern France to mark the centennial of the battle of Belleau Wood, a key moment in Marine Corps history.

    More >>
  • Freed after 2 years, man jailed in Venezuela returns to US

    Freed after 2 years, man jailed in Venezuela returns to US

    Saturday, May 26 2018 9:53 AM EDT2018-05-26 13:53:22 GMT
    Monday, May 28 2018 3:36 AM EDT2018-05-28 07:36:40 GMT
    Senator Corker’s office tweeted out an image of Josh Holt and his wife before leaving Venezuela. (Source: Twitter/@SenBobCorker)Senator Corker’s office tweeted out an image of Josh Holt and his wife before leaving Venezuela. (Source: Twitter/@SenBobCorker)

    A Utah man has been released from a jail in Venezuela after spending nearly two years behind bars on weapons charges.

    More >>

    A Utah man has been released from a jail in Venezuela after spending nearly two years behind bars on weapons charges.

    More >>
  • LeBron's 35 help Cavs beat Celtics 87-79, reach NBA Finals

    LeBron's 35 help Cavs beat Celtics 87-79, reach NBA Finals

    Sunday, May 27 2018 11:14 PM EDT2018-05-28 03:14:46 GMT
    Monday, May 28 2018 3:36 AM EDT2018-05-28 07:36:30 GMT
    (AP Photo/Charles Krupa). Cleveland Cavaliers forward LeBron James soars to dunk in front of Boston Celtics forward Al Horford (42) and forward Marcus Morris (13) during the first half in Game 7 of the NBA basketball Eastern Conference finals, Sunday, ...(AP Photo/Charles Krupa). Cleveland Cavaliers forward LeBron James soars to dunk in front of Boston Celtics forward Al Horford (42) and forward Marcus Morris (13) during the first half in Game 7 of the NBA basketball Eastern Conference finals, Sunday, ...
    LeBron James scored 35 points with 15 rebounds and nine assists to earn an eighth straight trip to the NBA Finals, leading the Cleveland Cavaliers to an 87-79 victory over the Boston Celtics in Game 7 of the...More >>
    LeBron James scored 35 points with 15 rebounds and nine assists to earn an eighth straight trip to the NBA Finals, leading the Cleveland Cavaliers to an 87-79 victory over the Boston Celtics in Game 7 of the Eastern Conference finals.More >>
Powered by Frankly