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US Air Force pilot dead after North Sea crash

written by Sandy Milne | June 16, 2020
A USAF F-15, similar to that which crashed off (US Air Force photo by Senior Airman Gracie Lee)

A US Air Force F-15C Eagle crashed off the eastern coast of England on Monday, sparking a search for the downed pilot.

The aircraft, operated as part of 48th Fighter Wing, departed from Suffolk’s RAF Lakenheath before crashing at 9:40am (local time).

Wreckage from the fighter was subsequently recovered by the British coast guard in the late afternoon, after receiving reports that the plane went down some 74 nautical miles off Flamborough Head on the Yorkshire coast. A helicopter and lifeboats were deployed in an attempt to locate the pilot.

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In a statement released in the hours that followed, the US Air Force said, “At the time of the accident, the aircraft was on a routine training mission with one pilot on board.

“The cause of the crash as well as the status of the pilot are unknown at this time and UK Search and Rescue have been called to support.”

However, the British coast guard later clarified that the pilot has been found dead.

Colonel Will Marshall, commander of 48th Fighter Wing, said in a statement, “It is with a very heavy heart that I confirm the pilot of the downed F-15C Eagle has been located and confirmed deceased.

“Out of respect for the family and their privacy during this incredibly difficult time, we will not release the name of the pilot until after all next of kin notifications have been completed.”

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At the time of writing, the Pentagon has yet to provide comment.

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