Pilot Missing After US Air Force F-15 Fighter Jet Crashes Off UK Coast

June 15, 2020 Updated: June 15, 2020

A U.S. Air Force fighter jet crashed off the UK coast Monday morning during a training mission, the 48th Fighter Wing Public Affairs confirmed in a news release.

The crash happened at about 9:40 a.m. (4:40 a.m. ET) and prompted a major search and rescue operation to retrieve the pilot in the North Sea, off the coast of Yorkshire.

“At the time of the accident, the aircraft was on a routine training mission with one pilot on board,” the release stated.

“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,” it added.

The public affairs office said as soon as additional details become available, they will be provided. The Epoch Times couldn’t confirm if the pilot has been located.

The U.S. Air Force said the type of jet was an F-15C Eagle and lift-off was from the Royal Air Force Base Lakenheath, northeast of London.

On the same morning as the crash, RAF Lakenheath posted a photo on Twitter showing three F-15s in flight. The caption of the post read, “Ready to take on Monday.”

RAF Lakenheath is the largest U.S. Air Force-operated base in England and the only U.S. Air Forces in Europe (USAFE) F-15 fighter wing.

The area where the plane went down is often used by UK and U.S. military jets for training sessions. At the time of the incident, four military jets were deployed in the area for training, according to Sky News.

A U.S. military helicopter crashed on the coast of eastern England in 2014, killing all four crew on board.

Reuters contributed to this report.