Breaking: US Fighter Jet Crashes Into North Sea
Posted 15/06/2020 14:57
A US Air Force pilot is missing after a fighter jet crashed into the North Sea.
The F-15C Eagle, from the 48th Fighter Wing at RAF Lakenheath in Suffolk, crashed shortly after 09:30 BST while on a training mission.
The cause of the crash is currently unknown but the US Air Force confirmed only one pilot was on board.
Search and rescue teams are looking for the aircraft, which is believed to have crashed 74 nautical miles off the East Yorkshire coast.
A spokeswoman for HM Coastguard said: "The HM Coastguard helicopter from Humberside has been sent along with Bridlington and Scarborough RNLI lifeboats.
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"Following a Mayday broadcast by HM Coastguard, other vessels nearby are heading to the area."
Col Will Marshall, commander of the 48th Fighter Wing, said: "Search and rescue efforts are currently under way, but the pilot of the aircraft is still missing.
"We will provide updates as they become available, while prioritising respect and consideration for the pilot's family.
"We are extremely grateful for the timely response of our UK counterparts in the support of these recovery efforts and remain hopeful that our Liberty Wing airman will be located and recovered."
The F15C, a single-seater air defence fighter, is a model of jet that has been used by the US Air Force since 1979.
RAF Lakenheath is the largest US Air Force-operated base in England and home to its only F-15 fighter wing in Europe.
More than 4,000 US service men and women are stationed there.
The 48th Fighter Wing shared an image of three jets in flight shortly after 08:00 on Monday.
In October 2015, US pilot Maj Taj Sareen died when his F-18 Hornet jet crashed on farmland near RAF Lakenheath.
A subsequent investigation found the 34-year-old did not report problems with his aircraft before take-off.