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TYNDALL AIR FORCE BASE, Florida (CBSMiam/AP) —  Air Force officials identified the pilot involved in a deadly jet crash in the Gulf of Mexico.

Officials said late Friday that Air Force civilian pilot Matthew J. LaCourse, 58, of Panama City was piloting the F-16 fighter jet when it crashed on Thursday, killing LaCourse.

LaCourse was assigned to the 82nd Aerial Targets Squadron at Tyndall Air Force Base. He graduated from the U.S. Air Force Academy in 1978 and retired from the Air Force in 2000 as a lieutenant colonel.

LaCourse’s body was recovered Thursday after officials lost contact with the jet while it was on a routine training mission over the Gulf of Mexico.

(TM and © Copyright 2014 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2014 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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