Pilot Killed in F-15 Crash Identified

The Massachusetts Air National Guard on Friday identified the pilot who died when his F-15C crashed Wednesday in the mountains of western Virginia as Lt. Col. Morris “Moose” Fontenot Jr. Col. James Keefe, commander of the 104th Fighter Wing at Barnes Air National Guard Base, Mass., said he was announcing Fontenot’s name at the request of the family and “with a sense of profound sadness. We will continue to keep the Fontenot family in our thoughts and prayers during this very difficult time.” Fontenot, a 1996 Air Force Academy graduate, was a full time Air Guardsman with the 104th FW, serving as wing inspector general and as an F-15 instructor pilot, with more than 2,300 flight hours, the Air Guard said. He is a graduate of the Air Force Weapons School, has served as a squadron commander at multiple locations, and is a decorated combat veteran. Fontenot’s F-15 Eagle was on a solo flight to Texas for an aircraft upgrade. He reported a mechanical problem shortly before radio communications were lost. Search parties that reached the wreckage determined that Fontenot did not successfully eject from the jet before the crash. An investigation into the crash is ongoing.