US Air Force Fighter Jet Crashes Into North Sea During Training Mission

(Oli Scarff/AFP via Getty Images)

Varun Hukeri General Assignment & Analysis Reporter
Font Size:

A U.S. Air Force F-15C Eagle fighter jet reportedly crashed into the North Sea off the English coast Monday morning. The U.S. military said the jet was participating in a routine training exercise when it went down.

The fighter jet was stationed at the Royal Air Force Lakenheath base, the largest U.S. Air Force-operated base in the United Kingdom, according to BBC News. The base also hosts the only American F-15 fighter wing in Europe and is home to 4,500 active-duty personnel. (RELATED: The F-35 Just Made Its First Combat Mission, But It Wasn’t The US Flying It)

The United Kingdom’s HM Coastguard received reports of a plane going down 74 nautical miles off the coast of East Yorkshire in northern England, according to the Guardian. A spokeswoman reportedly said in a statement that two lifeboats and a Coastguard helicopter had been deployed. “Following a mayday broadcast by HM Coastguard, other vessels nearby are heading to the area,” the spokeswoman added.

The cause of the crash is currently unknown, but the U.S. Air Force confirmed that only one pilot was on board. Col. William Marshall of the 48th Fighter Wing Lakenheath said that the U.S. and U.K. are working together on search and rescue efforts.

A similar incident occurred in October 2015 when U.S. Marine Maj. Taj Sareen died after his FA-18C Hornet jet crashed into farmland near Lakenheath base, BBC News reported.