Tag Archives: Massachusetts Air National Guard

Tribute for Lt. Col. Morris Fontenot held in Longmeadow, Mass.

Deerfield F-15C jet crash pilotLt. Col. Morris Fontenot

By Lynn R. Mitchell

The community of Longmeadow, Massachusetts, turned out Saturday to honor one of their own. Lt. Colonel Morris Fontenot, 41, was killed Wednesday morning when his F-15C Eagle slammed into a mountainside in western Augusta County, Virginia. He had reported an emergency situation five minutes before the crash.

At a memorial gathering, Fontenot’s wife Kara spoke to her friends and neighbors (see Longmeadow pays tribute to hometown hero):

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Gratitude expressed by Mass. Air National Guard for rescue efforts searching for down pilot

??????????By Lynn R. Mitchell

The Massachusetts Air National Guard released the following statement in regard to the fighter pilot crash Wednesday in the mountains of western Augusta County, Virginia:

8/29/2014 – BARNES AIR NATIONAL GUARD BASE, 104TH FIGHTER WING, Westfield, Mass. — Senior leaders from the Massachusetts Air National Guard express their gratitude to the many local, state and federal agencies that supported the search and recovery operations and continued to participate in the ongoing recovery efforts following the fatal crash of a 104th Fighter Wing F-15C aircraft in the remote mountains near Deerfield Valley, Va.

“The level of support provided by a number of states and at the federal level has been very helpful during this challenging time,” said Maj. Gen. L. Scott Rice, the Adjutant General, Massachusetts National Guard. “On behalf of the men and women of the Massachusetts National Guard, I thank each and every one of you for your assistance. The continued support from the available agencies will be critical as we work through the ongoing recovery and investigation.”

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Day 3: Air National Guard pilot killed in Virginia crash identified

Deerfield F-15C jet crash pilot

By Lynn R. Mitchell

After releasing the sad news Thursday night that the Massachusetts Air National Guard pilot died on impact when he crashed in the mountains of the George Washington National Forest in western Augusta County (see F-15 pilot killed in Augusta County, Va, crash), the 104th Fighter Wing released his identity on Friday:

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F-15 pilot killed in Augusta County, Virginia, crash

??????????By Lynn R. Mitchell

The C-130 that was flying in a grid pattern overhead all afternoon could no longer be heard by 6:00 p.m. and helicopters that had flown back and forth since noon were gone.  At 9:20 p.m. WHSV TV-3 reported the pilot was found dead but no further information was available (see F-15C plane pilot found dead). That is sad news for all the searchers and for the pilot’s family as well as the Massachusetts Air National Guard.

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Search for pilot moves closer to Staunton

By Lynn R. Mitchell

From the Staunton News Leader:

“UPDATE 11:54 A.M.: Searchers are concentrating on the southeast area of Crawford Mountain, which is part of the Great North Mountain Trail, which is a line including Elliot Knob.”

This area is practically my front yard so we’ve had helicopters and airplanes flying overhead all day. The crash site is further west near Deerfield but this current search area for the pilot is located about four or five miles west of Staunton at Buffalo Gap.

Weather conditions today are sunny, hot with temp in upper 80s, barely a breeze, and white puffy clouds dotting the dark blue sky. It’s a typical hot late August day.

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Military fighter jet crashes in western Augusta County mountains – UPDATED

Jet crashBy Lynn R. Mitchell

A military F-15 fighter jet crashed early Wednesday in the western part of Augusta County in the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia.

A lawyer friend, Sabrina Chester in Churchville about eight miles west of my house, first posted on Facebook Wednesday morning around 9:00:

Does anyone know what the huge explosion was just a bit ago?? Shook my entire house & spooked all the animals…smoke from Deerfield side of the mountain….possible airplane crash???

At my house, we had not heard the boom but were hearing helicopters overhead. Still not sure if they were heading toward that crash area, or whether they were military, or the Pegasus helicopter  with University of Virginia Hospital out of Charlottesville.

A search and rescue mission is underway but word has trickled out the pilot ejected before the crash. There is still no confirmation of that or if he has been found.

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