MADISON, Wis. — A Madison-based Wisconsin Air National Guard fighter wing has resumed F-16 flights after grounding pilots in the wake of a fatal crash earlier this month.
Capt. Durwood “Hawk” Jones of the 115th Fighter Wing was killed Dec. 8 when his F-16 went down in Michigan’s Hiawatha National Forest. The 115th’s commander, Col. Bart Van Roo, grounded flights until officials could determine it was safe to fly again. Jones’ crash, which occurred during a routine training mission out of Truax Field, marked the third time in the last 25 years an F-16 from the 115th has gone down. The pilots in the previous two crashes survived.
The Wisconsin State Journal reported Thursday that 115th pilots resumed flights on Dec. 15. Capt. Leslie Westmount, the 115th’s spokeswoman, told the newspaper that she couldn’t provide any information on the Air Force’s ongoing investigation into Jones’ crash. Van Roo has said it could take a month to determine what happened to Jones’ plane and up to a year to determine why.
The Air Force announced in April that the 115th would receive a fleet of new F-35s to replace its 33-year-old F-16s.