WASHINGTON, Aug. 27, 2014 —
An F-15C Eagle aircraft crashed near Deerfield, Virginia, at approximately 9:05 a.m. today during a routine mission, a Pentagon spokesman told reporters.
“Air Force and civilian first responders are responding to the scene,” Army Col. Steve Warren said. The status of the pilot, he added, is thus far unknown.
National Guard Bureau officials released a statement saying the 104th Fighter Wing at Barnes Air National Guard Base, Massachusetts, lost radio contact with the aircraft during a cross-country mission over Virginia’s Shenandoah Valley.
According to the release, the F-15C pilot made a report of an in-flight emergency prior to losing radio contact. Subsequently there were reports of dark smoke being seen around the aircraft’s last known whereabouts. Local law enforcement arrived on the scene and confirmed the aircraft crashed.
“Information on this incident is developing rapidly and we are not going to speculate on what occurred or the status of the pilot.” said Air Force Col. James Keefe, 104th Fighter Wing commander. “We are hopeful that the pilot is okay, and the pilot will be in our thoughts and prayers as the events of this incident unfold.”
The released also stated that the F-15C aircraft was enroute to receive a system upgrade and there were no munitions on the aircraft.
(Follow Amaani Lyle on Twitter: @LyleDoDNews)