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New England

F-15C from 104th Fighter Wing of Mass ANG crashes in VA.


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08282014 - Search For Missing Pilot Continues

Posted 8/28/2014 Updated 8/28/2014
Release Number: 030814
8/28/2014 - BARNES AIR NATIONAL GUARD BASE, 104TH FIGHTER WING , Westfield, Mass. -- The search for the missing 104th Fighter Wing pilot continues through the night in the Washington National Forest near Deerfield Valley, Virginia.
The F-15C Eagle the pilot was flying crashed at approximately 9:30 a.m. Wednesday; radio contact with the pilot was lost about 25 minutes earlier.
As of 11:15 p.m. Wednesday, approximately 10 search-and-rescue teams were on the ground searching along logging roads, fire trails and forest roads. The terrain is too treacherous for off-road ground searches in the dark, according to Corinne Geller, Virginia State Police Public Relations Manager.
As many as four helicopters have been conducting aerial night searches, with additional assets en route.
Throughout the day Wednesday, at least 100 state police, sheriff's deputies and fire and rescue personnel had been on scene, along with up to seven helicopters supporting aerial search missions, said Geller. The Air Force has secured the crash site, she continued.
The search for the missing pilot and the investigation into the crash are ongoing.
The 104th Fighter Wing is equipped with the F-15 Eagle. One mission of the 104th is Aerospace Control Alert (ACA), providing armed fighters ready to scramble in a moment's notice to protect the Northeast from any airborne threat. The unit is responsible for protecting a quarter of the nation's population and one third of the Gross Domestic Product.

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Havoc - any update on this situation? Was the pilot found? Is he alive or is he consider MIA?

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  • 4 months later...

A little late on this, but if you didn't know the pilot didn't survive. Lt. Col. Morris "Moose" Fontenot Jr was unable to eject from his F-15 due to a failure of his ejection system. He was flying to New Orleans for a radar upgrade.

Among the crew at Barnes ANG base that serviced his plane, including the ejection systems, prior to the flight was one of my friends. He beat himself up pretty badly over it.

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That is sad news Havoc. I am sorry to hear the Lt. Col didn't make it. What caused the plane to go down? What was the reason for the failure of the ejection seat? Poor maintenance?

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I can't find any definite information about it, but I know why: That investigation is on the backburner because the USAF won't admit that the F-15 fleet is aging. There have been 7 F-15 crashes since 2011. 23 crashes between 2000 and 2009. Most of them with experienced pilots.

The F-15 is a Cold War era machine.

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  • 1 month later...

As a retired air force guy myself. Unless, your in the system a person will never know the exact cause of the crash since that will be kept under wraps. Yes, the F-15 is a great aircraft and very old and it's still out there due to it's performance and maneuverability. But, only with guard and reserve not active duty. The F-16 is a very old bird as well. I hate that we lost yet another good pilot to an accidental malfunction in what ever system caused the crash.

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