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AUDIO: Fallen Pilot Identified

 
AUDIO:  Fallen Pilot Identified
Posted August 29th, 2014 @ 12:25pm

Westfield, MASS. _  UPDATE:  Following the fatal crash of a 104th Fighter Wing F-15C aircraft in the remote mountains near Deerfield Valley, Va. the family has asked that the unit share with the public the name of the pilot who was fatally injured Wednesday.



"On behalf of the family of our fallen pilot and with a sense of profound sadness, I am sad to share that Lt. Col. Morris "Moose" Fontenot Jr., was killed tragically in Wednesday's F-15 crash," said Col. James Keefe, 104th Fighter Wing Commander.  "We all continue to keep the Fontenot family in our thoughts and prayers during this very difficult time," added Keefe.



Lt. Col. Morris Fontenot Jr. served with the 104th Fighter Wing as the full-time Wing Inspector General, responsible for the implementation of the Air Force Inspection System and as an F-15 instructor pilot with more than 2,300 flight hours.  A 1996 Air Force Academy Graduate, Lt. Col. Fontenot was additionally a Weapons School Graduate with more than 17 years of F-15 flying experience.  He served as a squadron commander at multiple locations.  Following Active Duty assignments in Washington D.C., Japan, Idaho, Florida, Alaska and numerous deployments to the Middle East, Lt. Col. Fontenot joined the Massachusetts Air National Guard in February 2014.  He was a decorated combat veteran, earning the Meritorious Service Medal, Air Medal, Aerial Achievement Medal, Air Force Commendation Medal, Air Force Achievement Medal, and Combat Readiness Medal among others.



The investigation into the crash is ongoing.

 

 

 

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Officials confirmed today the pilot was fatally injured in the Aug. 27 crash of an F-15C Eagle in the remote mountains near Deerfield Valley, Va.

 

The pilot’s name is being withheld pending notification of family members.

 

"Our thoughts and prayers are with the family and we are doing all we can to support them during this very difficult time," said Col. James Keefe, Commander, 104th Fighter Wing. "We ask that everyone respect the privacy of the family and allow them the time they need to grieve," added Keefe.

 

 

An official safety investigation board is being convened and the investigation into the crash is ongoing.

 

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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