Shaw Air Force Base officials identify pilot killed in F-16 crash

Shaw Air Force Base officials identify pilot killed in F-16 crash
1st Lt. David Schmitz, shown here in this Aug. 13, 2014, at Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Wash., was identified as the pilot killed in an F-16 crash at Shaw Air Force Base Tuesday night. (Source: U.S. Air Force photo/Airman 1st Class Jacob Jimenez)

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.

Update: 20th Fighter Wing Deceased Pilot Identified

With next of kin notification complete, we can confirm that the pilot killed in the F-16CM crash on June 30, 2020, was 1st Lt David Schmitz, 77th Fighter Squadron. During this extremely difficult time, the outpouring of love and support from our communities to his family and our base has been much appreciated. Thank you.

Posted by Shaw Air Force Base on Thursday, July 2, 2020

The incident remained under investigation.

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