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104th Fighter Wing to Assist in Missing Pilot Search

104thWESTFIELD, Mass. (WGGB) — Members of the 104th Fighter Wing are traveling to Virginia to assist in the search for a missing pilot, which is still ongoing Thursday morning.

According to the 104th Fighter Wing’s Facebook page, they will be flying on a C-130 Hercules from the 103rd Airlift Wing, stationed at Bradley Air National Guard Base in Connecticut.

Wednesday morning, an F-15C from Barnes Air National Guard Base crashed in western Virginia.

There has been no contact with that pilot since an emergency call was made just after 9 a.m. Wednesday, and there has not yet been an indication whether or not the pilot was able to eject before the crash.

There is no cell service due to the remote, mountainous area, making communication difficult. Roughly 10 search-and-rescue teams were on the ground searching logging roads, fire trails, and forest roads in the remote wilderness. They’ve been assisted by four search helicopters overnight.

The Air Force has secured the crash site, as more than 100 officers and rescue personnel assist with the search.

The identity of the pilot has not been released, and the Virginia Army National Guard, Virginia Air National Guard, local fire and police agencies, Virginia State Police and federal agencies, are currently conducting a rescue mission.

Colonel James Keefe, Commander of the 104th, said in a press conference Wednesday that the pilot is “very experienced.”

ABC40’s Brendan Monahan is in Virginia and will have reports starting Thursday on ABC40 News.

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