BFF-26 Britain finds wreckage but not pilot of US F-15 jet

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BRITAIN-US-MILITARY

Britain finds wreckage but not pilot of US F-15 jet

LONDON, June 15, 2020 (BSS/AFP) – Britain’s coastguard said Monday
it had located the wreckage of a US Air Force fighter jet that crashed
during a training mission in the North Sea but the pilot was still
missing.

The F-15C Eagle went down after taking off from the RAF Lakenheath
base near the town of Mildenhall in eastern England.

The base is home to the 48th Fighter Wing, which has operated from
there since 1960 and has more than 4,500 active-duty military members.

“Search efforts by Her Majesty’s Coastguard have located wreckage
from the downed F-15C Eagle and recovery efforts are underway,” the
48th Fighter Wing said in a statement.

“The pilot is still missing, and search and rescue efforts continue.”

The Maritime and Coastguard Agency confirmed the wreckage was
located by a search and rescue mission comprised of a helicopter “and
other aircraft in the area”, along with lifeboats.

“The search is ongoing,” it said.

The single-seater plane went down 74 nautical miles (137 kilometres)
off the East Yorkshire coast.

Citing a flight tracker website, Sky News television said the plane
had circled in the area before disappearing.

Manufactured by Boeing, the twin-engine F-15C entered US Air Force
service in 1979, according to Janes security and defence group.

A total of 211 of the 409 F15-C aircraft produced are in service today.

Royal Air Force spokesman Martin Tinworth said the aircraft has an
“exceptional flight safety record”.

A US F-18 fighter jet crashed near the town of Ely, in eastern
England, in October 2015, killing the pilot, after taking off from RAF
Lakenheath.

The previous October, an F-15 from the base crashed into a field but
the pilot ejected safely. In January that year, four airmen were
killed when a US helicopter crashed during a low-flying training
exercise.

BSS/AFP/MRU/2241hrs