UK coastguards locate wreckage of U.S. fighter plane, pilot missing

LONDON (Reuters) – British coastguards have located the wreckage of a U.S. fighter plane that crashed into the North Sea off the coast of northeast England on Monday but the pilot is still missing, the U.S. Air Force said in a statement.

The F-15C Eagle from the 48th Fighter Wing, which was on a routine training mission, crashed at around 0940 local time (0840 GMT). Only the pilot was on board.

“Search efforts by Her Majesty’s Coastguard have located wreckage from the downed F-15C Eagle and recovery efforts are underway. The pilot is still missing, and search and rescue efforts continue,” the statement said.

The aircraft was from RAF Lakenheath, the largest U.S. Air Force-operated base in England and the only U.S. Air Forces in Europe (USAFE) F-15 fighter wing. It is located about 25 miles (40 km) northeast of Cambridge.

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

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