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U.S. Embassy Says Pilot of Crashed F-16 Found Dead

January 14, 1988

MADRID, Spain (AP) _ The body of the pilot of a U.S. Air Force F-16 fighter-bomber was found today after the aircraft crashed while on a training mission, a U.S. Embassy spokesman said.

Spokesman George Bonjon said the body of Lt. Col. David F. Shontz Jr., 39, of Peace Dale, R.I., was found early today near the crash site 100 miles southeast of Madrid.

Bonjon said the aircraft was attached to the 401st Tactical Fighter Wing of 72 U.S. F-16s stationed at Torrejon air base, just east of Madrid.

He said the crash was not yet known.

Torrejon air traffic controllers reported the aircraft missing and presumed crashed Wednesday afternoon. The aircraft crashed in an field of scrub near the village of Parra de la Vega, he said.

Shontz, operations officer of the 612th Tactical Fighter Squadron, one of three squadrons that comprise the 401st Tactical Fighter Wing, had been on assignment at Torrejon air base since last September.

The crash was the second in a month of a U.S. Air Force F-16 stationed at Torrejon. In the previous crash, the pilot ejected safely.