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Missing pilot was Air Force Academy graduate

Published On: Jan 30 2013 04:11:20 PM CST   Updated On: Jan 30 2013 12:41:44 PM CST

Capt. Lucas Gruenther


An Air Force Academy 2003 graduate has been identified as the pilot of the F-16 that went missing during a night training flight over the Adriatic Sea Monday.

Capt. Lucas Gruenther was the chief of flight safety for the 31st Fighter Wing at Aviano Air Base, Italy.

Before being assigned to Aviano Air Base, Gruenther was an instructor pilot at Sheppard Air Force Base, Texas.

Italian search teams found debris thought to belong to the U.S. fighter jet, the U.S. military said Tuesday.

The jet's last known location was over the Adriatic Sea, some 10-15 nautical miles east of Cervia.

Search teams have found no sign of the pilot, though they're continuing the search, officials said.


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