11/17/2010 - JOINT BASE ELMENDORF-RICHARDSON, Alaska -- Search and rescue aircraft have discovered the apparent wreckage of an Air Force F-22 assigned to the 3rd Wing at Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson.
The aircraft lost contact with air traffic control at 7:40 p.m. Alaska time yesterday while on a nighttime training mission.
To continue searching for the missing pilot, a rescue team is being dispatched to the area, approximately 100 miles north of Anchorage, by the Alaska Air National Guard Rescue Coordination Center, the 3rd Wing and Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson.
Air Force Col. Jack McMullen, 3rd Wing commander, held a press conference at 1 p.m. to make a statement and answer questions from the media.
"Last night a 'two-ship' of F-22s, Rocky one and Rocky three, were finished with training ... about 100 miles north of here," McMullen said.
Everything was normal until about 7:40 p.m., McMullen said, when Rocky 3 fell off the radar scope and the pilot lost communications.
"The other pilot (Rocky one) went to a tanker, got gas and then continued to look for the mishap pilot," McMullen continued. "He could not find him. At that time, the Alaska Air National Guard scrambled a C-130 and rescue helicopters. They searched the entire night."
About 10:15 a.m., an Alaska Air National Guard helicopter found a site that fits the data and the description of where we thought the mishap probably occurred, McMullen said.
"They found the crash site. They were unable to land at the crash site and take a closer look. We scrambled another helicopter that should be in the area in the next few moments." McMullen said.
McMullen thanked the Alaskan community and Alaska Air National Guard for their support at such a difficult time.
The name of the pilot is being withheld until the pilot's status is determined.
More information will be released as it becomes available.