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A pilot is still missing after a 104th Fighter Wing F-15C jet went down during a cross country mission. At approximately 9:05 a.m. LT on Aug. 27, radio contact with an F-15C was lost as the unarmed aircraft was flying over the Shenandoah Valley Virginia. According to the 104th FW Press Release, the pilot flying the Eagle aircraft reported an inflight emergency prior to radio contact being lost. The aircraft crashed in a remote, wooded area not far from the Virginia-West Virginia border. Even though the status of the pilot is still unknown, there are unverified reports by witnesses that saw an ejection and subsequent chute
UPDATE 11:45 AM: The pilot, a member of the 104th Fighter Wing of the Massachusetts Air National Guard, was flying a cross-country mission over the Shenandoah Valley in Virginia, according to a spokesperson from the Fighter Wing. The pilot reported an in-flight emergency before radio contact was lost at 9:05 this morning. The plane was en route to receive a systems upgrade, and wasn't carrying any weapons. The status of the pilot is still unconfirmed
While the air force refuses to disclose on the pilot's whereabouts, Virginia residents claimed to have witnessed a parachute near the crash site, which indicate that the pilot might have ejected. Keefe told the publication: "We do not have any information on that right now as far if anyone saw a chute, so I can't give any information about that right now." Meanwhile, search-and-rescue efforts continue by air and on land for the missing pilot
The F-15 Eagle is expected to be in service with the U.S. Air Force past 2025. F-15 versions are still being produced for foreign users, with the F-15 production line set to end in 2019, 47 years after the type's first flight.