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Former A-10 Pilot Discusses Pilot’s Training

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WESTFIELD, Mass. (WGGB) — At the Air National Guard Base in Westfield, they wait. They hope and they pray for the safe return of the missing pilot.

How difficult is it to survive a plane crash like this.

Brian Barnes is the airport manager at Barnes Airport. His ties to the 104th are close.

At this time, the pilot’s family is on his mind.

“First of all, my thoughts are with the family because having lived that life, you understand how much stress families can be under and how concerned they are.”

The pilot has been missing since 9 a.m. on Wednesday.

How much of a concern is that?

“It’s not normal…not what we’d prefer, but over the 28 years in the military, we saw some strange things where a person is incapacitated. You look at the scenario. It could be very possible that he’s injured,” Barnes says.

Barnes says if the pilot is injured, he might not be able to move or signal for help.

“Normally, the procedure is to stay with the wreckage, set off flairs build a little fire to signal where you are. It makes it easier for people to find you, but if that’s not possible understand why it’s taking so long in such a dense area,” Barnes adds.

The former A-10 pilot also encourages people to maintain hope.

“There’s skilled people. Every resource that the military can put towards this as the efforts increase people need to remember that there are some things we can ‘t control. We don ‘t know what happened…maintain hope that things will turn out for the best.”

The former A-10 pilot says with the level of the search effort and the survival training the pilot has received, there is good reason to hope for the best and that’s what they are doing here today at the 104th Fighter Wing.


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