Fighter pilot based in SC dies in Afghanistan plane crash

Capt. James Steel (provided)

SHAW AIR FORCE BASE, S.C. -- Air Force officials have announced that a Shaw AFB F-16 Fighting Falcon pilot was killed April 3, after his aircraft crashed in Afghanistan.

The pilot, 29-year-old Capt. James Steel from Shaw's 77th Fighter Squadron was returning to base from a close air support mission.

Officials say Shaw graduated from the U.S. Air Force Academy in 2006, completed pilot training and arrived at Shaw in June 2010. He was the chief of mobility for the 77th FS."Our condolences and prayers are with the family, friends and squadron members of Capt. Steel," said Col. Clay Hall, 20th Fighter Wing commander. "This is a difficult time for Shaw AFB, but we are focused on taking care of the Steel family, our Airmen and continuing to execute the mission."The accident is currently under investigation; more details will be released as they become available.