WASHINGTON, Aug. 27 (Xinhua) -- A U.S. F-15C Eagle fighter jet crashed on Wednesday morning near Deerfield, Virginia, during a routine mission, the Pentagon confirmed.
"Air Force and civilian first responders are responding to the scene," spokesman Steve Warren told reporters, adding the status of the pilot was not known yet.
The fighter lost radio contact with the 104th Fighter Wing at Barnes Air National Guard Base in the state of Massachusetts during a cross-country mission over Virginia's Shenandoah Valley, the National Guard Bureau said in a statement.
It said the pilot reported an in-flight emergency before losing radio contact. There were reports then of dark smoke seen around the aircraft's last known whereabouts. Local law enforcement arrived at the scene and confirmed its crash.
"Information on this incident is developing rapidly and we are not going to speculate on what occurred or the status of the pilot, " James Keefe, the 104th Fighter Wing commander, said in a statement.
He told a press conference in Westfield, Massachusetts, that the plane was on its way to New Orleans, Louisiana, to have a radar installed as part of routine maintenance.