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Pilot missing after Wisconsin-based F-16 crashes in Michigan during training

Don't be alarmed: F-16s conducting evening training flights this week in Greater Madison area
Posted at 5:42 AM, Dec 09, 2020

MANISTIQUE, Mich. — Authorities say a Wisconsin-based F-16 fighter jet crashed in Michigan's Upper Peninsula while on a training mission and searchers are looking for the pilot, who was the only person aboard.

The Wisconsin Department of Military Affairs says the plane assigned to the Wisconsin Air National Guard's 115th Fighter Wing at Truax Field Air National Guard Base in Madison crashed about 8 p.m. Tuesday.

“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. “Right now 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 crash site in Delta County Mich. was immediately secured by military personnel and according to the Wisconsin Department of Military Affairs, additional personnel will be sent out Wednesday, Dec. 9 to facilitate the safety and security of the crash site.

Still, at this time, the pilot's location is unknown and the crash remains under investigation.

Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers released a statement Wednesday morning, saying he was devastated.

“I was devastated to learn last night that a member of the Wisconsin Air National Guard was involved in an F-16 crash in the Upper Peninsula. As search and rescue operations continue, Kathy and I are hoping and praying for the pilot’s safe return. Our hearts go out to [the] pilot’s family as well as the members of the 115th Fighter Wing as they continue working to bring the pilot home," said Evers.

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