Search continues for pilot in F-15C crash in Augusta County - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

BREAKING

Search continues for pilot in F-15C crash in Augusta County

Posted: Updated:
Source: Twitter - @ThatGuy_GBeck Source: Twitter - @ThatGuy_GBeck
  • More WALB News10 HeadlinesMore News HeadlinesMore>>

  • UPS to hire up to 95,000 seasonal workers

    UPS to hire up to 95,000 seasonal workers

    Tuesday, September 16 2014 11:19 AM EDT2014-09-16 15:19:12 GMT
    UPS said it expects to hire approximately 90,000 to 95,000 seasonal employees to handle increased demand for package deliveries over the holiday season.More >>
    UPS said it expects to hire approximately 90,000 to 95,000 seasonal employees to handle increased demand for package deliveries over the holiday season.More >>
  • Local artists auction work to benefit Albany Humane Society

    Local artists auction work to benefit Albany Humane Society

    Tuesday, September 16 2014 4:07 AM EDT2014-09-16 08:07:28 GMT
    Animal lovers can give back to the Albany Humane Society in a very unique way. Local artists will be auctioning off their work to benefit the non-profit organization through Artists for Animals. More >>
    Animal lovers can give back to the Albany Humane Society in a very unique way. Local artists will be auctioning off their work to benefit the non-profit organization through Artists for Animals. 
    More >>
  • Worth County is Camera Ready

    Worth County is Camera Ready

    Monday, September 15 2014 10:50 PM EDT2014-09-16 02:50:56 GMT
    Karen Rackley, Sylvester-Worth County Chamber of Commerce Executive DirectorKaren Rackley, Sylvester-Worth County Chamber of Commerce Executive Director
    Every county in Georgia is now camera ready.Worth County is one of the final 20 counties that just earned the designation meant to show television and movie producers that local communities are able and willing to help them. More >>
    Every county in Georgia is now camera ready.Worth County is one of the final 20 counties that just earned the designation meant to show television and movie producers that local communities are able and willing to help them. More >>
AUGUSTA, VA (WWBT/RNN) -

The search for an Air National Guard pilot continues after an F-15C single-seat aircraft based out of Massachusetts crashed in a rural area of Augusta County Wednesday morning.

The crash happened around 9 a.m. near Deerfield Valley Road. According to a spokesperson for the Barnes Air National Guard Base, the 104th Fighter Wing lost radio contact with an F-15C aircraft during a cross-country mission over the Shenandoah Valley in Virginia. The pilot reported an inflight emergency prior to radio contact being lost. 

A twitter user posted a photo showing smoke rising from the area not long after the crash.

Law enforcement in Augusta County spotted the crash site near Elliott's Knob in the George Washington Naional Forest around 9:45 a.m. An Augusta County Fire and Rescue battalion reached the site around 20 minutes later.

People living around here say they first heard a small explosion in the air. Connie was working on her farm, just a few miles from the crash site.  "Planes go through here loud and that one was weird because it was an unbelievable noise and it was like a little boom and then bam!" she said.  Several people who live in Deerfield tell us the vapor trail from the plane disappeared and they saw a mushroom cloud where the jet crashed.  "I meant the earth actually shook, I thought it was just my legs but it wasn't," says Connie.

State Police describe the scene in a heavily-wooded area as "a deep crater surrounded by a large debris field." The area is isolated and there are no residences nearby. No residents were injured and there were no military weapons on the plane, but the jet fuel is considered hazardous.

So far, no one has been able to make contact with the pilot. Barnes Air National Guard Base officials are working with Virginia State Police and Augusta County authorities in the ongoing rescue mission.

"Information on this incident is developing rapidly and we are not going to speculate on what occurred or the status of the pilot", said Col James Keefe, 104th Fighter Wing Commander. "We are hopeful that the pilot is ok, and the pilot will be in our thoughts and prayers as the events of this incident unfold."

The F-15C aircraft was on its way to receive a system upgrade. 

Since January, there have been four accidents involving a U.S. military aircraft – at least five people have died related to those crashes.  

In June, a fire broke out in the rear of a Lockheed Martin F-35A Lightning II during take-off from Eglin Air Force Base in Florida. Lt. Hope Cronin, spokeswoman for the 33rd Fighter Wing, said the fire was significant but didn't release the extent of the damage.

In 2012, a Navy jet crashed into a block of Virginia Beach, VA apartment complexes. According to CNN, the two pilots and five others were treated at an area hospital.

Copyright 2014 WWBT NBC12Raycom News Network contributed to the report. All rights reserved.