SUMTER, S.C. (WCSC) - Authorities at Shaw Air Force Base have released the name of the pilot killed late Tuesday night in an F-16 crash on the base.
The pilot was 1st Lt. David Schmitz of the 77th Fighter Squadron, according to Col. Larry Sullivan, the commander of the 20th Fighter Wing. Sullivan called Schmitz "one of our very best."
“During this extremely difficult time, the outpouring of love and support from our communities to his family and our base has been much appreciated,” Sullivan said.
Schmitz was killed after the F-16CM Fighting Falcon he was piloting at the base crashed at approximately 11:30 p.m. Tuesday.
He was conducting a routine training mission at the time of the incident, base officials said.
Schmitz, who was the only person aboard, was taken to an area hospital where he later died.
The incident remained under investigation.