UPDATE – Rescue Teams Say F-16 Pilot Did Not Survive

WARBIRD RADIO – According to an official news release U.S. Air Force officials announced today (6/30/11) that search and rescue teams have found conclusive evidence the pilot of an F-16C Fighting Falcon, which crashed approximately 5:30 p.m. June 28, did not survive.

At the time of the accident, the single-seat F-16 based at Nellis Air Force Base, was participating in a combat training mission within military operating airspace managed by The Nevada Test and Training Range. It crashed on Bureau of Land Management property approximately 20 miles west of Caliente, Nev.

“Based on evidence recovered from the crash site, and after extensive aerial and ground search efforts, we know that the pilot did not eject from the aircraft prior to impact,” said Brig. Gen. T.J. O’Shaughnessy, 57th Wing commander. “Our thoughts and prayers are with the pilot’s immediate family, Air Force family, and friends during this difficult time.”

The name and unit of the pilot involved is being withheld pending notification of the next-of-kin.

“We have started an investigation into this mishap; but we are in the very early stages of this investigation,” General O’Shaughnessy continued. “For the next several weeks, a trained investigation board will focus their exclusive efforts on collecting and protecting evidence from the scene and gathering and analyzing all relevant data with the specific purpose of determining the cause so we may prevent future mishaps. Nellis Air Force Base is the busiest flying base in Air Combat Command, producing 42,000 sorties each year. As commander of this wing, the safety of the local community and our Airmen is my top priority.”

Additional details will be released as they become available. Nellis Air Force Base will not release the name or unit of the pilot involved in the mishap until 24 hours after notification of next-of-kin is complete.

Stay tuned to Warbird Radio for more on this developing story.

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