"Today was a tough day for the Massachusetts Air National Guard, as we learned we lost a great American, a warrior, a leader and most importantly a family member," Brig. Gen. Robert Brooks, the component commander of the Massachusetts ANG said in a press conference.
The F-15 crashed on Wednesday morning. Searchers spent the last two days scouring the rough Virginia terrain following a false report of a parachute in the area following the crash, although were stymied in their initial search efforts at the crash site by the intense heat from the wrecked jet. The pilot was discovered after the crash site cooled late last night, Military Times reports.
"At that time they discovered evidence that our pilot did not eject from the aircraft. We have transitioned from a search and rescue effort to a recovery operation," Gen. Brooks said.
The fallen pilot's family has been notified, and he will be named later today. The cause of the crash, meanwhile, has not been revealed.