Pilot in Crash Identified

Deerfield -- The pilot killed in Wednesday’s plane crash has been identified.

Massachusetts Air National Guard says Lt. Col. Morris Fontenot Jr. died when his F-15C Eagle crashed in the remote mountains near Deerfield Valley.

The Air National Guard states the pilot served with the 104th Fighter Wing as the full-time Wing Inspector General. He had more than 2,300 flight hours.

Fontenot was a 1996 Air Force Academy graduate.

At approximately 9:05 a.m. Wednesday, Washington Center Air Traffic Control in Washington, D.C. lost radio contact with the F-15C aircraft stationed at the 104th Fighter Wing, Mass., and at approximately 9:30 a.m. the 104th Fighter Wing learned that the aircraft had crashed in a remote site near Deerfield Valley, Va.

The single seat F-15C aircraft was en route to Naval Air Station New Orleans to receive a radar system upgrade. The flight was not related to the 104th Fighter Wing’s homeland defense mission, and there were no munitions on the aircraft during this flight. The pilot was flying a solo mission when he reported an in-flight emergency prior to the loss of radio contact with Washington Center.


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