Officials: Mass. Air National Guard Pilot Killed in Va. Crash

The name of the deceased pilot has not yet been released

Authorities have confirmed the Massachusetts Air National Guard pilot flying a military jet to New Orleans was killed in Wednesday's crash in the remote mountains near Deerfield Valley, Virginia.

Officials at the Barnes Air National Guard Base in Massachusetts are not releasing the pilot's name pending notification of the pilot's family.

The investigation into the crash is ongoing, officials said, and it may be several weeks before more information is released.

Search and rescue teams were able to make it to the remote crash site Thursday morning, 104th Fighter Wing Commander Col. James Keefe said, adding that he received an indication that crash investigators found the pilot, who did not safely eject from the plane.

The experienced pilot, a member of the 104th Fighter Wing, was flying alone to New Orleans to upgrade the military jet's radar system when he reported an in-flight emergency before Washington lost radio contact just after 9 a.m. Wednesday, according to officials.

"Our thoughts and prayers are with the family and we are doing all we can to support them during this very difficult time," Col. Keefe said.

Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick said it was a sad day for the Bay State.

"Throughout the last couple of days, as we learned the circumstances of this accident, we held out hope that the pilot would be found and returned safely to his family. Our prayers and condolences are with his family, the Wing Command and all the Members of the Massachusetts National Guard," his statement read.

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