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F-16 pilot dies after aircraft crashes in Michigan's Upper Peninsula

"Northern Lightning 2020"
Posted at 6:25 PM, Dec 10, 2020
and last updated 2020-12-10 18:35:02-05

(WXYZ) — An F-16 pilot has died after his aircraft crashed in Michigan's Upper Peninsula late Tuesday during a training mission, according to the Wisconsin Air National Guard's 115th Fighter Wing.

The pilot's identity will not be released until his next of kin is notified.

“We are deeply saddened by this tragic loss; our thoughts and prayers are with the family during this difficult time,” said 115th Fighter Wing commander Col. Bart Van Roo. “Today is a day for mourning, the 115th Fighter Wing and the entire Wisconsin National Guard stands with the pilot’s family as we grieve the loss of a great Airman, and patriot.”

“We are an extremely close-knit group at the fighter wing, the loss of one of our own brings immeasurable sadness to every member of our organization,” he said.

The pilot crashed in Michigan's Hiawatha Forest. There was a multi-state, inter-agency search for the pilot and aircraft following the crash.

The cause behind the crash is still being investigated.