F-22 Wreckage Found in Alaska, Pilot Missing

Video still of F-22 fighter jet. CBS

Updated at 11:41 p.m. ET

Searchers are holding out hope, but have found no sign of the pilot of an Air Force F-22 fighter jet that crashed in a remote area of interior Alaska.

The jet was nearing the end of a training mission Tuesday night when ground radar lost track of it. Rescue aircraft spotted the wreckage Wednesday morning, and a helicopter was able to land at the crash site in the afternoon.

Alaska National Guard spokesman Maj. Guy Hayes says pararescuers found no sign of the pilot. Searchers are leaving the site for the night, but Hayes says an air search will continue, looking for a campfire, a parachute or ejection seat.

Pilots carry survival gear and are trained for Arctic conditions. The pilot's name has not been released.

The twin-engine F-22 Raptor entered service in the mid-2000s and arrived at Elmendorf in August 2007. It's far more maneuverable and stealthy than earlier jets and can cruise at more than 1 1/2 times the speed of sound without using its afterburner. Its top speed is confidential.

Congress last year stopped production of the plane, built by Lockheed Martin Corp., by eliminating $1.75 billion that would have added seven F-22s to the Air Force's fleet.

An F-22 crashed in March 2009 near Edwards Air Force Base in California, killing the pilot.

Air Force officials say the crash site is about 100 miles north of Anchorage, near Denali National Park.
  • CBSNews

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