Lancair Down

A pair of California Air National Guard F-15Cs scrambled to intercept a non-responsive civil aircraft that later crashed into the Pacific Ocean last week, NORAD spokesman Michael Kucharek told Air Force Magazine on Aug. 18. “Although this mission did not have the advantageous outcome we always hope for, we are constantly on the watch defending our skies,” Maj. Gen. Tommy Williams, mobilization assistant with NORAD-US Northern Command, said in a release. The F-15s intercepted the private Lancair Evolution aircraft near Fresno, Calif., at approximately 7 p.m. local time on Aug 13, but were unable to gain a response from the pilot. A Coast Guard HC-130 and a KC-135 tanker supporting the fighters then trailed the aircraft until it impacted the water approximately 430 nautical miles northwest of San Francisco, according to the release. The Lancair was enroute from Phoenix, Ariz., to Hesperia, Calif., when it lost contact with air traffic control. The HC-130 dropped a raft and marker buoys where the aircraft ditched at 10:39 p.m., but reported no sign of the pilot, the local Larkspur-Corte Madera Patch reported.