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Search ongoing for pilot of crashed Air National Guard F-16 fighter

Air National Guard F-16 fighter
Photo: 115th Fighter Wing

US authorities are searching for the pilot of an F-16 Fighting Falcon fighter jet that crashed in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula at around 8 p.m. on December 8.

The Wisconsin Air National Guard’s 115th Fighter Wing said the search was still ongoing and that the pilot’s status remains unknown.

The 115th Fighter Wing participated in a coordinated search effort with local emergency responders, the US Coast Guard and other government agencies overnight. Search and rescue efforts on the ground, in the air, and in the water continue.

The crash site, located in Delta County, Michigan was initially secured by local emergency responders, but military personnel and safety and security personnel from the 115th Fighter Wing are now on site. Additional personnel will be sent to help facilitate the safety and security of the crash site.

“We are a close knit family and when an incident like this occurs, every member in our organization feels it.”, said Col. Bart Van Roo, 115th Fighter Wing commander. “The safety of our pilot along with search and rescue efforts are our top priority, and we will continue to pray for the pilot’s safe return”.

The incident remains under investigation, the wing said.

This is at least the third crash of a US F-16 aircraft this year, with one resulting in fatal injuries in a July incident at Shaw Air Force Base.