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Military officials indentify pilot killed in Virginia F-15 crash



By RYAN GORMAN

Military officials have identified the pilot of an F-15 jet that crashed earlier this week in Virginia.

Lt. Col. Morris "Moose" Fontenot Jr. died when his plane crashed into mountains in a remote part of western Virginia. The 1996 U.S. Air Force Academy graduate was a member of the 104th Fighter Wing based in Massachusetts.

Search crews found Fontenot's body after a two-day search following the accident, Col. James Keefe announced Thursday at the Massachusetts Air National Guard, in Westfield, Massachusetts.

"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," Keefe said in a Friday afternoon statement.

A team of over 100 local, state and federal officials, including volunteers, looked for the pilot after he was reportedly seen by witnesses ejecting out of the F-15 as it hurtled toward the ground.

Morris was an experienced pilot with more than 2,300 hours of flights under his belt. He was a full-time Wing Inspector General and responsible for the implementation of the Air Force Inspection System, the military said.

He crashed the plane while flying from his home base in Westfield to Naval Air Station New Orleans, according to the Air National Guard. It was due to receive a radar upgrade.

Military Pilot Was Killed in Virginia F-15 Crash
Authorities previously shot down reports Fontenot had ejected from the plane, saying the ejection seat was found still inside fighter jet.

Air traffic control is said by the military to have lost contact with the fighter at 9:05 Wednesday morning.

The doomed pilot radioed for help only minutes earlier. Those were his last known words.

Fontenot was a decorated airman who served active duty assignments in Washington, D.C., Japan, Idaho, Florida, Alaska and numerous missions in the Middle East, officials said.

He earned several combat medals including the Meritorious Service Medal, Air Medal, Aerial Achievement Medal, Air Force Commendation Medal, Air Force Achievement Medal, and Combat Readiness Medal, authorities said.

The jet left a massive crater but caused no injuries to other people after it roared into the ground early Wednesday. A massive debris field was left behind.

No ammunition was onboard the plane, which was flying at an altitude as high as 40,000 feet shortly before the incident.

An investigation remains ongoing.

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1 August 29 2014 at 10:20 AM

Our heart go out to the Family of this lost Airmen, another lost of one of our Military. May you RIP now..........

Flag Reply +48 rate up
dollie August 29 2014 at 4:52 PM

What a handsome man and a true patriot we have lost. RIP and condolences to his family

Flag Reply +37 rate up
PAPPY August 29 2014 at 2:13 PM

RIP SIR!

Flag Reply +32 rate up
wildlifeartistkc August 29 2014 at 2:55 PM

Rest in Peace Sir. May his family and friends find peace and heal from their loss.

Flag Reply +27 rate up
kimcrdr August 29 2014 at 10:18 AM

I thought in an article yesterday it stated the pilot ejected? very sad and tragic, sending condolences to his family and friends!

Flag Reply +22 rate up
3 replies
bigchaos August 29 2014 at 5:26 PM

God Bless You and Thank You, Loyal Airman Patriot....
Your Country Loves You.
Rest In Peace....

Flag Reply +19 rate up
vjcinpalmbeach August 29 2014 at 5:28 PM

Have spent my life knowing mostly Commercial pilots and astronauts.

Some died very young, but not ONE would have changed his/her career to live longer.

It's true. There is nothing as FREEING as being "Up there" with Nature.......

Flag Reply +14 rate up
Michael Blaine August 29 2014 at 12:46 PM

It's Obama's fault.

Flag Reply +14 rate up
15 replies
CHRISTOPHER RAY August 29 2014 at 11:10 AM

sounds like a suicide, reason i say that is because being at 30,000 feet with a mechanical issue leaves you pleanty of time 5+ min to eject, or maybe he passed out due to a malfuction in his oxygen system and or hart attack etc etc,, very rare circumstance to not eject very strange

Flag Reply +12 rate up
29 replies
BUBBLESNSTUFF August 29 2014 at 9:44 AM

i thought i read yesterday eye witnesses saw him eject?

Flag Reply +4 rate up
2 replies
ffjsb BUBBLESNSTUFF August 29 2014 at 12:45 PM

People unfamiliar with aircraft often report erroneous things. We routinely have people report low a flying aircraft as "about to crash", even though this particular aircraft flies a low altitude training mission every month over the same route. Go figure.
RIP Lt. Col. Fontenot.

Flag Reply +1 rate up
Joan BUBBLESNSTUFF August 29 2014 at 5:06 PM

According to articles pertaining to the crash, his ejection seat was still intact within the aircraft. Such sadness, thoughts to his family and friends on their tremendous loss.

Flag Reply +2 rate up
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