Pilot found dead after F-15 crash in western Virginia

By Michelle Kapusta,

Military officials have said that a pilot, who went missing after his F-15C fighter jet went down in a forest in western Virginia earlier this week, was found dead.

CNN noted that Air Force Col. James Keefe, 104th Fighter Wing commander, confirmed that searchers found the pilot on Thursday afternoon.

"This is a devastating day for the family of our deceased pilot and the members of the 104th Fighter Wing," Keefe told reporters.

On Wednesday, the one-person fighter jet crashed in Virginia's George Washington and Jefferson National Forest.

Several residents in the town of Deerfield alerted authorities after they heard a loud noise and saw a cloud of smoke rising alongside a mountain.

Fearing that the crash site could be hazardous, Keefe said that searchers did not make it there until the following day.

After the crash, officials said that they did not know if the pilot was able to eject from the aircraft and were not sure of his whereabouts. His name has not yet been released.

The fighter jet had flown out of Barnes Air National Guard Base in Westfield, Massachusetts.

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