US pilot confirmed dead after fighter jet crashes off British coast – dpa international


DUBLIN — A US Air Force pilot has died after a F-15C Eagle fighter jet crashed into the North Sea off the British coast on Monday morning.

After a day-long search, RAF Lakenheath, the southern English base from where the aircraft took off, said on Monday evening that the pilot had been located and “confirmed deceased.”

RAF Lakenheath described the death as a “tragic loss for the 48th Fighter Wing community” and issued “deepest condolences” to the pilot’s family and the 493rd Fighter Squadron.

The cause of the crash is not yet known, and the pilot has not been named.

RAF Lakenheath said the jet “was on a routine training mission with one pilot on board” when it crashed at approximately 9:40 am (0840 GMT).

Debris from the aircraft was found earlier after a search-and-rescue operation involving the British coastguard and lifeboats stationed along the Yorkshire coast.

The coastguard said on Monday morning that it dispatched search helicopters to the area after receiving reports “of an aircraft going down into the sea 74 nautical miles (137 kilometres) off Flamborough Head.”

RAF Lakenheath is an air force base located about 200 kilometres south of Flamborough Head, which sits about halfway between London and Edinburgh.

About 4,000 US Air Force personnel are stationed at RAF Lakenheath, making it one of the main hubs for United States’ forces based in Britain.

The British Royal Air Force said on Twitter that “following the USAF F-15 crash today, our thoughts are with @usairforce and all at RAF Lakenheath as @HMCoastguard search and rescue continues.”

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