Air Force identifies missing F-16 pilot

Updated at: 01/29/2013 10:07 PM
By The Associated Press

(AP) WASHINGTON - The U.S. Air Force has identified the pilot of an F-16 fighter jet that went missing Monday on a training mission over the Adriatic Sea.

It said he is Capt. Lucas Gruenther of the 31st Fighter Wing, based at Aviano Air Base in Italy.

The Air Force said Italian rescue teams recovered debris from the Adriatic that is believed to belong to Gruenther’s F-16, but he remains missing.

The search is continuing.

Spokesman Master Sgt. Michael O’Connor at the 31st Fighter Wing declined to release Gruenther’s age and hometown. The Modesto (Calif.) Bee newspaper has reported Gruenther is from Twain Harte, Calif.

(Copyright 2013 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)