Pilot of crashed Madison-based F-16 jet found dead

MADISON, Wis. — The Wisconsin Air National Guard announced Thursday that the pilot of a Madison-based F-16 jet that crashed Tuesday night in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula has died.

“We are deeply saddened by this tragic loss, and our thoughts and prayers are with the family during this difficult time,” 115th Fighter Wing commander Col. Bart Van Roo said. “Today is a day for mourning, and the 115th Fighter Wing along with the entire Wisconsin National Guard stands with the pilot’s family as we grieve the loss of a great Airman, and patriot.”

The F-16 Fighting Falcon crashed around 8 p.m. Tuesday in Delta County Michigan. The jet was assigned to the Wisconsin Air National Guard’s 115th Fighter Wing united based at Truax Field Air National Guard Base.

The 115th Fighter Wing, the U.S. Coast Guard, local first responders and other government agencies began searching for the missing pilot overnight after the crash.

Gov. Tony Evers shared a statement on Twitter after the 115th Fighter Wing announced the pilot’s death.

The pilot will not be identified until after their family is notified.

The 115th Fighter Wing is expected to share more information about the crash early Friday morning.