F-16 Pilot Missing over Adriatic Sea

UPDATE: Italians believed to have found wreckage, no sign of pilot

F-16 Fighting Falcon


A rescue team searched throughout the night for the pilot of a F-16 Fighting Falcon that went missing Monday night over the Adriatic Sea, according to Air Force officials.

Stars and Stripes reported:

"We are still considering it a search-and-rescue operation," Maj. Erick Saks, chief of public affairs for the 31st Fighter Wing, said Tuesday, about 16 hours after the base lost contact with the pilot. "We are still hopeful."

Aviano Air Base lost contact with the American pilot after he reported an unspecified problem. He lost contact 150 miles from Aviano. Military and civilian ships began looking for the pilot within the first hour.

"F-16s never fly alone, so it was part of a formation," Saks said. "We’ll continue to operate day and night until we can rescue the pilot or determine what happened."

UPDATE: The Air Force said Tuesday morning that Italian rescue teams have recovered wreckage believed to be the F-16, but have not found any sign of the pilot, according to the Associated Press.