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US F-15 fighter jet crashes in Virginia

The aircraft was part of the Air National Guard's 104th Fighter Wing from Westfield, Massachusetts, Pentagon spokesman Lieutenant Colonel Tom Crosson said
A US F-15C fighter jet crashed in a Virginia forest and it was unclear if the pilot ejected before the plane went down

A US F-15C fighter jet crashed Wednesday in a Virginia forest and it was unclear if the pilot ejected before the plane went down, officials said.

The aircraft was part of the Air National Guard's 104th Fighter Wing from Westfield, Massachusetts, Pentagon spokesman Lieutenant Colonel Tom Crosson said.

The single-seat jet went down at around 9 am (1300 GMT) in a rural area near the town of Deerfield in George Washington and Jefferson National Forest, about 180 miles (290 kilometers) southwest of Washington DC, officials said.

The aircraft had no munitions on board when it crashed, said Colonel James Keefe, commander of the 104th Fighter Wing.

"The aircraft was flying to New Orleans naval air station at high altitude and it was going to receive a scheduled modification to its radar," Keefe said.

The pilot of the jet did not report an emergency before losing radio contact shortly after 9 am, Keefe said.

There was an "ongoing rescue mission" to find the fighter pilot, he said.

"At this time we have not had contact with our pilot."