The pilot of an F-16C fighter jet that crashed in a rugged area of western Arizona was killed when his plane went down, Air Force officials confirmed Saturday.
The student pilot was practicing air-to-air combat with another F-16 from Luke Air Force Base about noon Friday when his plane crashed, base spokeswoman Mary Jo May said.
Aircraft from the Air Force, Marines, Civil Air Patrol and Arizona Department of Public Safety spent hours trying to find the wreckage, which was spotted late Friday in a remote area about 80 miles northwest of Phoenix.
Rescuers could only reach the site by helicopter and arrived at daybreak Saturday, May said. They found the pilot's parachute and some of his gear about 150 feet from an impact crater. It took several hours for the Air Force to confirm that he had died in the crash.