UPDATE: The crash site of the F-22 has been found 100 miles north of Anchorage.
A search has been started for an “overdue” U.S. Airforce F-22 fighter jet. A single pilot was in the F22 on a “training mission” when it lost contact with air traffic control. The stealth fighter did not transmit any mayday before losing contact.
Missing F-22 fighter jet
At approximately 7:40 p.m. Alaska time on Tuesday evening, an F-22 Raptor jet lost contact with air traffic control. The single pilot is a member of the Elmendorf’s 3rd Wing, stationed in Alaska. Search and rescue teams have been dispatched to areas around the last known location of the F-22 Raptor. C-130 aircraft and military helicopters are also being used to search for the plane. As of right now, nothing has been heard from the pilot of the F-22 Raptor or the plane itself.
Weather not likely a factor
While the missing F-22 Raptor was on a training mission above the Alaska wilderness, weather was not likely a factor. The National Weather Service has reported that when the F-22 lost contact with air traffic control, weather was “fair.” The pilot did not transmit any indication that anything had gone wrong. Instead, the F-22 simply disappeared off the radar.
F-22 Raptor production has been ended
As of October 2009, the U.S. Government has removed all military funding for further production of the F-22 Raptor plane. The plane is a stealth fighter that can also be used for ground attack and intelligence. However, the F-35, which is a more versatile and less expensive aircraft, has been steadily replacing the F-22 Raptor. At about $150 million per plane, the F-22 also represents a significant investment. There is a ban on U.S. exports of the F-22 Raptor plane, so other countries do not currently have the F-22 or a plane similar to it. Searches for the missing Alaska F-22, which the Pentagon confirmed is “believed to be crashed” will continue.