Aug 27, 2014 11:37 AM by News Staff
A Massachusetts Air National Guard F-15C fighter crashed and burned Wednesday morning in Virginia's Shenandoah Valley, shortly after the pilot reported an emergency.
"Information on this incident is developing rapidly and we are not going to speculate on what occurred or the status of the pilot," said Col. James Keefe, 104th Fighter Wing Commander. "We are hopeful that the pilot is OK, and the pilot will be in our thoughts and prayers as the events of this incident unfold."
The plane was en route from Massachusetts to New Orleans for a system upgrade when it went down with a bang that was heard for miles in Deerfield, Va.
"I was laying in bed and I felt a jolt. It shook my house. I heard a big boom and a roar afterward," Lisa Dula told NBC News. Dula said she ran out and tried to drive to the scene but could not get close to the wooded area at the foot of the mountain. "You could see the smoke going up in the air," she said.
Garrett Beck, who works on a farm a mile from the crash site, said he heard two booms and ran outside to see if a tire on a truck had blown. "I turned around and there was a mushroom cloud. It looked like something you see in a movie after they dropped a bomb," he said.