USAF F-15C Eagle takes off from Kadena Air Base in Japan 090119 CREDIT US DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE
UK

F-15 North Sea Crash: Pilot's Body Found

The aircraft, from 48th Fighter Wing based at RAF Lakenheath in Suffolk, crashed on Monday morning.

USAF F-15C Eagle takes off from Kadena Air Base in Japan 090119 CREDIT US DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE

An F-15C Eagle pilot has been found dead after their aircraft crashed during a routine training mission over the North Sea.

The wreckage of the fighter jet was found earlier on Monday afternoon.

The name of the pilot will not be released until all next of kin have been notified.

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

"This is a tragic loss for the 48th Fighter Wing community, and our deepest condolences go out to the pilot’s family and the 493rd Fighter Squadron."

The aircraft, from 48th Fighter Wing based at RAF Lakenheath in Suffolk, crashed at around 09:30 UK time on Monday morning with one pilot on board.

Earlier on Monday afternoon, Col Marshall said the cause of the crash was "unknown".

HM Coastguard coordinated the response after receiving reports that an aircraft had crashed 74 nautical miles off Flamborough Head on the East Yorkshire coast.

A Coastguard helicopter from the Humberside area was also sent to the scene, along with RNLI lifeboats from Bridlington and Scarborough.

KC-135 aircraft from RAF Mildenhall also took part in the search.

RAF Lakenheath tweet

At just after 8am this morning, RAF Lakenheath posted an image of three aircraft on the base's official Twitter account.

The F-15C, a single-seater air defence fighter, is a model of jet that has been used by the US Air Force since 1979.

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

RAF Lakenheath is the largest US Air Force-operated base in England.

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

Cover image: Library image of a USAF F-15C Eagle (Picture: US Department of Defense).