Image: F-16 crashes
SOURCE: Dept. of Defense / AP
updated 3/15/2008 5:42:31 PM ET 2008-03-15T21:42:31

The Air Force confirmed Saturday that an F-16 fighter pilot was killed in the crash of his jet in a rugged area of western Arizona.

The student pilot was practicing air-to-air combat with another F-16 from Luke Air Force Base about noon Friday when his plane went down.

Base spokeswoman Mary Jo May said searchers spent hours trying to find the wreckage and it was finally spotted late Friday in a remote area about 80 miles northwest of Phoenix.

Rescuers reached the site at daybreak Saturday and found the pilot's parachute and some of his gear. It took several hours before the Air Force could confirm that he had gone down with his plane.

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