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Wednesday, November 17, 2010

F-22 wreckage found 100 miles north of Anchorage

Pilot still missing.

 Alaska Beat

F-22 wreckage found 100 miles north of Anchorage

f-22-usaf-photoUPDATED 1:25 p.m.: Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson reports that it has located the apparent wreckage of an overdue F-22 Raptor some 100 miles north of Anchorage. Here's an updated press release:

JOINT BASE ELMENDORF-RICHARDSON, Alaska -- Search and rescue aircraft have discovered the apparent wreckage of an Air Force F-22 assigned to the 3rd Wing at Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson. The aircraft lost contact with air traffic control at 7:40 p.m. Alaska time yesterday while on a nighttime training mission.

To continue searching for the missing pilot, a rescue team is being dispatched to the area, approximately 100 miles north of Anchorage, by the Alaska Air National Guard Rescue Coordination Center, the 3rd Wing and Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson.

"Our thoughts and prayers are with the family of this missing Airman, and we thank all Alaskans for their continued support and prayers during this trying time," said Col. Jack McMullen, 3rd Wing commander. "Finding the missing pilot is our top priority."

Per Department of Defense policy, the name of the pilot is being withheld until the pilot's status is determined.

More information will be released as it becomes available.

ORIGINAL REPORT: According to several sources this morning, an Air Force F-22 Raptor is long overdue in returning from a training flight that left from Joint Base Elemendorf-Richardson in Anchorage. Air controllers lost contact with the jet Tuesday at 7:40 p.m. AKST, and a Pentagon spokesperson told CNN that the jet is "believed to be crashed."

The story is still developing, but a statement from JBER says that search and rescue crews are already on the job, and are focusing their attention on the aircraft's last known location, an area northeast of Cantwell.

The Air Force has not released the pilot's name, but Col. Jack McMullen, 3rd Wing commander said in the statement that the pilot is the Wing's main concern. "Right now, our top priority is to try to bring the pilot home safely," he said. "We will continue to search until we find our pilot. Our thoughts and prayers are with the family of this missing Airman."

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