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Navy Ends Search For Missing Pilot

Sat., Oct. 4, 1997

A search was suspended Friday for a missing Navy pilot who ejected from an F-14 fighter with a crewman before his jet crashed into the Atlantic.

“They have searched all of the area that is possible for anything to be in with negative results,” Navy spokesman Mike Maus said.

Lt. Cmdr. Logan A. Allen III, 33, of Virginia Beach, disappeared after he and a crew member ejected Thursday afternoon during a training exercise about 50 miles off the North Carolina coast.

The crew member, Cmdr. Craig A. Roll, 39, of Virginia Beach, was rescued uninjured within an hour.

Although pilots said they saw two open parachutes descending to the sea, Allen could not be found despite an intense search that included several ships and aircraft.

Navy aviators receive extensive water-survival instruction, including learning to get out of a parachute, keeping afloat for long periods and making fresh water out of salt water, Maus said.

Their flight gear includes a life vest that inflates when it hits the water, an emergency radio and a beacon. Maus did not know whether rescue crews had received a radio transmission from the pilot.

The cause of the crash has not been determined. The plane is based at the Oceana Naval Air Station.

It was the first significant accident involving a military plane since six crashed during a seven-day span in mid-September. Those accidents prompted the Pentagon to order a one-day grounding of training flights for safety reviews by all the services.


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