The pilot of an F-15C fighter jet that crashed in Virginia on Wednesday morning has been pronounced dead, according to military officials.
The Massachusetts Air National Guard said the pilot did not eject from the jet as they had initially hoped.
More than 100 local, state and federal officials, as well as volunteers had been searching for the pilot since the incident occurred. Officials finally reached the crash site Thursday afternoon.
The pilot’s identity isn’t yet being disclosed, though military officials say he was with the 104th Fighter Wing of the Massachusetts Air National Guard.
Col. James Keefe said his ‘‘thoughts and prayers are with the family’’ of the pilot, according to The Boston Globe.
The crash site was identified as the mountains of Virginia's George Washington National Forest. At the time of the incident, a loud boom was heard around the Deerfield Valley Road area of Deerfield, Virginia. Rising black smoke then followed. That’s when the first call came in, according to the Augusta County Sheriff’s Office.
According to The News Leader, the aircraft went missing when it lost contact with a Washington, D.C., airport. It was on its way to New Orleans when the pilot reported an inflight emergency. Investigations on the cause of the crash are still on going
No crash-related injuries were reported on the ground.