US Air Force IDs pilot in F-16 fighter jet crash over Gulf of Mexico



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TYNDALL AIR FORCE BASE, Florida — Air Force officials have identified the pilot who was killed in an F-16 fighter jet crash.

Officials said late Friday that Air Force civilian pilot Matthew J. LaCourse, 58, of Panama City Beach was piloting the jet when it crashed into the Gulf of Mexico on Thursday, killing LaCourse.

LaCourse was assigned to the 82nd Aerial Targets Squadron at Tyndall Air Force Base. He graduated from the U.S. Air Force Academy in 1978 and retired from the Air Force in 2000 as a lieutenant colonel.

LaCourse's body was recovered Thursday after officials lost contact with the jet while it was on a routine training mission over the Gulf of Mexico.

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