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115th Fighter Wing Announces Death of F-16 Pilot After Michigan Crash

115th Fighter Wing Facebook

Update (12/11/20 3:03 p.m.)

The Wisconsin Air National Guard's 115th Fighter Wing identified the pilot who died in an F-16 crash in Michigan's Upper Peninsula Dec. 8.

The pilot was Air Force Capt. Durwood “Hawk” Jones, 37, of Albuquerque, New Mexico, who is survived by his wife and two children.

Capt. Jones died as a result of the crash during an evening training flight in Michigan’s Hiawatha National Forest, said Col. Bart Van Roo, the 115th Fighter Wing commander.

Capt. Jones joined the Air National Guard in 2011 and graduated from F-16 basic qualification training in 2015.  He is a decorated combat veteran, deploying as a part of a United States Pacific Command Theater Support Package to Japan in 2015 and to Korea in 2017.  He deployed again in support of Operation Freedom’s Sentinel to Afghanistan in 2019.

Capt. Jones has been awarded two Air Medal’s with combat “C” devices, which are awarded to individuals who have been personally exposed to hostile action or under significant risk of hostile action.

Before joining the military, Capt Jones graduated from Northwestern University with a degree in mathematics in 2005.

Update (12/10/20 5:13 p.m.) 

The Wisconsin Air National Guard confirms the death of an F-16 pilot after a plane crash in central Upper Michigan.

In a statement on the 115th Fighter Wing website, Col. Bart Van Roo said “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.”

Col Van Roo said “We are deeply saddened by this tragic loss; our thoughts and prayers are with the family during this difficult time.”

Per Department of Defense policy, the 115th Fighter Wing will not release the pilot’s identity until 24 hours after notifying the service member’s next of kin.

The crash occurred within Michigan’s Hiawatha National Forest during a training mission Tuesday night.

A multi-state, interagency search for the pilot and aircraft immediately followed the crash. The cause of the crash is under investigation.

(Original Post)

What happened to the pilot of a crashed fighter jet remains unknown.

The Wisconsin based fighter jet crashed in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula. 

Authorities say the jet crashed in Delta County, in the central U.P., while on a training mission.  The pilot was the only person aboard.

The Wisconsin Department of Military Affairs says the F-16 Fighting Falcon was assigned to the Wisconsin Air National Guard’s 115th Fighter Wing at Truax Field Air National Guard Base in Madison.  It crashed about 8 p.m. Tuesday.

The cause of the crash, as well as the status of the pilot, weren’t immediately known.

John Burton is the WXPR Morning Edition Host.
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