A search is underway to locate a pilot after his F-16 Fighter Falcon crashed Tuesday in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula, the 115th Fighter Wing announced.
The status of the pilot was still unknown as of 7:30 a.m. Wednesday. The F-16 was flying from Truax Field Air National Guard Base with the Wisconsin Air National Guard’s 115th Fighter Wing, according to the 115th Fighter Wing’s website.
The crash occurred around 8 p.m. Tuesday when the pilot was executing a training mission, the Wisconsin Department of Military Affairs said in a statement.
The crash happened in Michigan’s Delta County and local emergency responders first responded to the site of the crash. The 115th Fighter Wing’s military, safety and security staff are currently at the scene, the website said. More staff will be dispatched in order “to help facilitate the safety and security of the crash site,” the 115th Fighter Wing said.
“We are a close knit family and when an incident like this occurs, every member in our organization feels it,” Col. Bart Van Roo, 115th Fighter Wing commander said in the statement.
“The safety of our pilot along with search and rescue efforts are our top priority, and we will continue to pray for the pilot’s safe return,” Van Roo said.
Authorities say a Wisconsin-based F-16 fighter jet crashed in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula while on a training mission and searchers are looking for the pilot, who was the only person aboard. https://t.co/vGQtPmEo2k
— The Associated Press (@AP) December 9, 2020
The cause of the crash under investigation, according to the website.
“The 115th Fighter Wing participated in a coordinated search effort with local emergency responders, the U.S. Coast Guard and other government agencies overnight. Search and rescue efforts on the ground, in the air, and in the water continue,” the website said.
The crash occurred in the Hiawatha National Forest on the Delta-Schoolcraft county line, WLUC reported.
The crash follows several other recent military aircraft accidents. A Marine Corps F-35B jet and a KC-130J tanker crashed together while executing an air-to-air refueling operation in September and an Air Force F-16 fighter jet that had been assigned to the Nellis Air Force Base crashed in April 2018.
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