USAF pilot confirmed killed in F-16 crash

London
Source:
This story is sourced from Flight International
Subscribe today »

A US Air Force pilot has been confirmed killed following the loss of a Lockheed Martin F-16 during a night-time training mission over the Adriatic Sea on 28 January.

The air force says the body of Capt Lucas Gruenther, 31st Fighter Wing chief of flight safety, has now been recovered by an Italian search and rescue vessel.

Gruenther had been based at Aviano air base in the north of Italy.

"Captain Gruenther was an outstanding officer who epitomised what it means to be an airman," says Brig Gen Scott Zobrist, commander of the 31st Fighter Wing.

"He was not only a first-rate pilot; he was an exceptional leader whose presence will be sorely missed."

Gruenther was an Air Force Academy graduate and flew numerous combat sorties during a six month deployment to Afghanistan in 2011.

Investigations into the cause of the crash continue.