National Guard: F-15 fighter pilot died after crash in Augusta - Tri-State News, Weather & Sports

National Guard identifies F-15 fighter pilot killed in Augusta, Va crash

Lt. Col. Morris Fontenot Jr. (Source: National Guard) Lt. Col. Morris Fontenot Jr. (Source: National Guard)
RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) -

Officials have released the identity of the F-15 fighter jet pilot fatally injured in a crash near Deerfield Valley, Va. on August 27.

Lt. Col. Morris Fontenot Jr., a 1996 Air Force Academy Graduate, died while serving with the 104th Fighter Wing as the full-time Wing Inspector General and as an F-15 instructor pilot with more than 2,300 flight hours. Fontenot was additionally a Weapons School Graduate with more than 17 years of F-15 flying experience. His family asked that the unit share his name with the public.

"On behalf of the family of our fallen pilot and with a sense of profound sadness, I am sad to share that Lt. Col. Morris "Moose" Fontenot Jr., was killed tragically in Wednesday's F-15 crash," said Col. James Keefe, 104th Fighter Wing Commander.  "We all continue to keep the Fontenot family in our thoughts and prayers during this very difficult time," added Keefe.

At a news conference from the 104th Fighter Wing of the Massachusetts Air National Guard, Col. James Keefe said it is not known what caused the Mass. based jet to crash.

"Our thoughts and prayers are with the family and we are doing all we can to support them during this very difficult time," said Keefe. "We ask that everyone respect the privacy of the family and allow them the time they need to grieve," added Keefe.

Teams found the pilot around 5:00 p.m. Thursday, in an area where fires were still burning. It is unclear if the black box has been found, and the investigation is expected to last for weeks.

At approximately 9:05 a.m. Wednesday, Washington Center Air Traffic Control in Washington, D.C. lost radio contact with the F-15C aircraft.

Then at approximately 9:30 a.m. the 104th Fighter Wing learned that the aircraft had crashed in a mountainous site in Augusta County, Va.

The single seat F-15 was en route to Naval Air Station New Orleans to receive a radar system upgrade.

The flight was not related to the 104th Fighter Wing's homeland defense mission, and there were no munitions on the aircraft during this flight.

The pilot was flying a solo mission when he reported an in-flight emergency prior to the loss of radio contact with Washington Center.  

Copyright 2014 WWBT NBC12. All rights reserved.

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