National Guard Pilot Was Killed in Virginia Crash

Col. James Keefe of the Massachusetts Air National Guard takes questions on the crash. Col. James Keefe of the Massachusetts Air National Guard takes questions on the crash. Steven Senne/AP

The pilot of the military jet that crashed in Virginia on Wednesday was killed in the incident, military officials said in a press conference late on Thursday.

Speaking to reporters in Westfield, Mass., Col. James Keefe of the Massachusetts Air National Guard said the pilot of the one-man F-15 fighter jet was unable to eject and did not survive the crash.

The jet was en route to New Orleans for routine maintenance without any munitions on board when it crashed in the mountains of western Virginia, rattling nearby residents who captured photos of the smoke, but causing no injuries on the ground. The two-day search and rescue effort involved more than 100 local, state, and federal officials and volunteers.

This is Keefe's full statement:

I stand before you to share some unfortunate news on the fate of our missing pilot. We received notification from the site investigation team that our pilot did not survive the accident. He died as a result of injuries sustained during yesterday's crash.

This is a devastating day for the family of our deceased pilot and the members of our 104th Fighter Wing and the entire F-15 community. These tragedies remind us of the risk that 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 discovered that our pilot did not safely eject from the aircraft. The pilot was pronounced deceased by the on-scene craft investigations team in Virginia. At this time, we are officially transitioning form a search and rescue effort to a search and recovery operation.

The investigation into the crash is ongoing. 

Stay up-to-date with federal news alerts and analysis — Sign up for GovExec's email newsletters.
FROM OUR SPONSORS
JOIN THE DISCUSSION
Close [ x ] More from GovExec
 
 

Thank you for subscribing to newsletters from GovExec.com.
We think these reports might interest you:

  • Going Agile:Revolutionizing Federal Digital Services Delivery

    Here’s one indication that times have changed: Harriet Tubman is going to be the next face of the twenty dollar bill. Another sign of change? The way in which the federal government arrived at that decision.

    Download
  • Cyber Risk Report: Cybercrime Trends from 2016

    In our first half 2016 cyber trends report, SurfWatch Labs threat intelligence analysts noted one key theme – the interconnected nature of cybercrime – and the second half of the year saw organizations continuing to struggle with that reality. The number of potential cyber threats, the pool of already compromised information, and the ease of finding increasingly sophisticated cybercriminal tools continued to snowball throughout the year.

    Download
  • Featured Content from RSA Conference: Dissed by NIST

    Learn more about the latest draft of the U.S. National Institute of Standards and Technology guidance document on authentication and lifecycle management.

    Download
  • GBC Issue Brief: The Future of 9-1-1

    A Look Into the Next Generation of Emergency Services

    Download
  • GBC Survey Report: Securing the Perimeters

    A candid survey on cybersecurity in state and local governments

    Download
  • The New IP: Moving Government Agencies Toward the Network of The Future

    Federal IT managers are looking to modernize legacy network infrastructures that are taxed by growing demands from mobile devices, video, vast amounts of data, and more. This issue brief discusses the federal government network landscape, as well as market, financial force drivers for network modernization.

    Download
  • eBook: State & Local Cybersecurity

    CenturyLink is committed to helping state and local governments meet their cybersecurity challenges. Towards that end, CenturyLink commissioned a study from the Government Business Council that looked at the perceptions, attitudes and experiences of state and local leaders around the cybersecurity issue. The results were surprising in a number of ways. Learn more about their findings and the ways in which state and local governments can combat cybersecurity threats with this eBook.

    Download

When you download a report, your information may be shared with the underwriters of that document.