The US Air Force has confirmed that the pilot of a Lockheed Martin F-22 which crashed on 16 November died in the accident. Capt Jeffrey Haney had been flying the aircraft when air traffic control lost contact following a night-time training sortie with another Raptor.

"Based on evidence recovered from the crash site, and after two days of extensive aerial and ground search efforts, we know that Capt Haney did not eject from the aircraft prior to impact," Col Jack McMullen, 3rd Wing commander at Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson confirmed on 20 November.

Part of the aircraft's ejection seat and several life-support items worn by the pilot were found at the crash site: a crater located in a remote area roughly 87nm (160km) north of Anchorage, Alaska.

 F-22 crash site - USAF
© US Air Force

"Recovery operations are currently under way and are expected to last several weeks," the USAF says. A safety investigation board will be convened to identify the cause of the accident, it adds.

This was the first crash to have involved an active duty F-22 since the type's entry into frontline squadron service.

The USAF says Capt Haney was commissioned in August 2003 and had been stationed at Elmendorf-Richardson AFB since June 2006.

Source: Flight International