Search for pilot continues after F-16 crashes in Michigan

National and World

(Photo courtesy of the Wisconsin Air National Guard)

Correction: The article has been updated to reflect the correct location of Steuben, Mich.

DELTA COUNTY, Mich. (NewsNation Now) — The search for a missing Wisconsin Air National Guard pilot continues Wednesday morning after an F-16 crashed in Michigan’s upper peninsula.

An F-16 Fighting Falcon, assigned to the Guard’s 115th Fighter Wing, crashed in Michigan’s Delta County at around 8 p.m. Tuesday during a “routine training mission,” the airmen said. One pilot was on board, according to the 115th Fighter Wing.

“The search for the pilot continues and the pilot’s status remains unknown at this time,” the group said in a statement Wednesday. The incident is currently under investigation.

The Wisconsin Air National Guard searched overnight for the pilot, along with local emergency responders, the U.S. Coast Guard and other agencies.

“Search and rescue efforts on the ground, in the air and in the water continue,” the Guard said.

Military personnel are currently at the site of the crash.

Delta County Sheriff Ed Oswald said the crash occurred in the county’s northeastern corner in a rural area within Hiawatha National Forest, which spans about 879,000 acres, according to the forest’s website.

“It’s a very remote area with no cellphone service,” he said.

The closest community to the crash site is the small village of Steuben, located in adjacent Schoolcraft County, Oswald said. The sheriff’s office has blocked off local roads in the crash area, where he and his deputies did not see any fire or flames in the crash area overnight.

“We are a close knit family and when an incident like this occurs, every member in our organization feels it,” said Col. Bart Van Roo, 115th Fighter Wing commander. “The safety of our pilot along with search and rescue efforts are our top priority, and we will continue to pray for the pilot’s safe return.”

The F-16 Fighting Falcon is based out of Truax Field Air National Guard Base in Madison, Wisconsin.

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