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Wednesday, April 7, 2010 as of 11:14 AM ET

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Air Force Pilot and F-22 Fighter Missing

November 17, 2010 - 1:18 PM | by: Justin Fishel

WASHINGTON — Rescue teams are searching for a fighter jet that went missing during a routine nighttime training mission out of Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson in Alaska. The Air Force pilot and his F-22 Raptor lost contact with air traffic control at 7:40 p.m. Tuesday evening.

Using HH-60 helicopters and an HC-130, the Alaska Air National Guard is searching an area northeast of Cantwell, Alaska, the last known location of the aircraft.

“Right now, our top priority is to try to bring the pilot home safely,” said Col. Jack McMullen, 3rd Wing commander. “We will continue to search until we find our pilot. Our thoughts and prayers are with the family of this missing Airman.”

The Air Force is withholding the name of the pilot until his condition is determined.

The F-22 is the military’s newest and most technologically advanced fighter. It’s a one-man, stealth supercruiser designed for air-to-air and air-to-ground missions. The Air Force has 137 of them in its fleet, each valued at roughly $143 million.

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