Sheriff's office: Military jet crashes in Virginia

Sheriff's office: Military jet crashes in Virginia

Associated Press
Jet crash in Deerfield, VA
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Jet crash in Deerfield, VA. (AP/Yahoo News)
 

DEERFIELD, Va. (AP) — A sheriff's dispatcher says officials believe a military jet has crashed in western Virginia, but there is no word on the condition of those onboard.

Augusta County Sheriff's Office dispatcher Becky Coynter says witnesses reported hearing a loud noise that sounded like an explosion just before 9 a.m. Wednesday.

Coynter says military officials in Washington told local authorities that communication with a military jet had been lost.

A news release from state police says officials located a crash site in Deerfield, with heavy smoke coming from the side of a mountain. The statement says state and local police are trying to reach the site.

State police say no injuries on the ground have been reported. Police didn't offer other details.

Deerfield is about 135 miles northwest of Richmond.

In for truth that military jet was carrying a nuke and now isis has recovered it and ubama is ordering martial law until said nuke can be found. Prepare your anus boys. Phone Post 3.0

F-15C on a training flight.

Military: Jet in Virginia Crash Based in Mass.

 
 
 

 

Military officials say the jet that crashed in western Virginia was an Air Force F-15C based in Massachusetts, and the pilot's status is unknown.

Pentagon spokesman Air Force Lt. Col. Tom Crosson says the pilot of the single-seat aircraft was with the 104th Fighter Wing of the Massachusetts Air National Guard.

Guard spokesman Maj. Matthew Mutti says the jet was on a standard training exercise Wednesday with no munition onboard. He didn't say where it was headed or release the pilot's name.

Augusta County dispatcher Becky Coynter says witnesses reported an explosion-like noise just before 9 a.m. She says military officials in Washington reporting losing communication with a jet.

Police say they located a crash site in Deerfield, about 135 miles northwest of Richmond, with smoke coming from a mountainside. No injuries are reported on the ground.

 

Hope the pilot ejected. As an AirForce member who works aircraft maintenance nothing is worse than hearing a jet you work crashed. I have had it happen twice and hope to never have to hear it again.

An experienced pilot was missing Wednesday after the flier's F-15 fighter jet crashed in the mountains of western Virginia, shaking residents but causing no injuries on the ground, military and law enforcement officials said.

The pilot of the single-seat jet was headed to New Orleans for radar installation as part of routine maintenance and reported an inflight emergency, then lost radio contact, authorities said. The pilot and jet are with the 104th Fighter Wing of the Massachusetts Air National Guard, officials there said.

It was unclear whether the pilot had ejected and the plane had no munitions onboard, Col. James Keefe said at a news conference in Westfield, Massachusetts, home of the fighter wing.

Just before 9 a.m., residents near Deerfield -- with a population of just 130 people, about 135 miles northwest of Richmond -- say they heard a series of explosions-like booms.

"It's the loudest noise I've ever heard," 63-year-old Rebecca Shinaberry, who lives on a farm about two miles away, said. "(It) just shook the ground, and from my house we could just see a big plume of smoke."

Her husband, turkey farmer A.D. Shinaberry, said that from the first two booms, he thought a plane had broken the sound barrier. But 10 seconds later he heard a third boom -- the crash, he said.

Then, "it was like a mushroom, black smoke came up," Shinaberry said.

From the smoke, Virginia State Police said, they located the crash site, in a heavily wooded but level area adjacent to a mountain in the George Washington National Forest.

A deep crater and a large debris field are on the site, and state police are searching, spokeswoman Corrine Geller said.

"It is probably five, six miles from the crash site to the nearest civilization," Keefe said. "It's deeply wooded, and a lot of hills and mountains."

"We are not going to speculate on what occurred or the status of the pilot," Keefe said. "We are hopeful that the pilot is OK."

A massive rescue operation was underway in the rural area with rocky, steep terrain. Several dozen local, state, and federal officials as well as volunteers gathered at the Deerfield Volunteer Fire Department. State police say about seven helicopters are being used, which includes two from the FBI.

Keefe said the plane was flying about 30,000 to 40,000 feet -- "pretty high" -- when the pilot reported the emergency. Pilots are trained to release equipment when ejecting, Keefe said, so it was likely the pilot did not have a radio.

F-15s are maneuverable tactical fighters that can reach speeds up to 1,875 mph, according to the Air Force website. The F-15C Eagle entered the Air Force inventory in 1979 and costs nearly $30 million, the website says. The Air Force has nearly 250 F-15s.

Several F-15s have crashed over the past few years in various states. In at least one, the pilot ejected safely. Causes included failure of a support structure for the jet and pilot error.

"Pilots are trained to release equipment when ejecting, Keefe said, so it was likely the pilot did not have a radio."

Huh?