A U.S. Air Force F-15C Eagle fighter jet crashed into the North Sea off the coast of England on Monday, the Air Forces’ 48th Fighter Wing confirmed.
The US Air Force F-15C Eagle, from the 48th Fighter Wing based at RAF Lakenheath in Suffolk, crashed at around 9.40am on Monday with one pilot on board.
The status of the pilot is not known and a search and rescue operation is under way. According to a flight radar understood to be tracking the fighter jet, the pilot circled the aircraft before it disappeared from the radar.
The 48th Fighter Wing said in a statement: “At the time of the accident, the aircraft was on a routine training mission with one pilot on board.
“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.”
The F15C, a single-seater air defence fighter, is a model of jet that has been used by the US Air Force since 1979.
RAF spokesman Martin Tinworth said the aircraft has an “exceptional flight safety record”.
HM Coastguard said in a statement that it received reports of a plane “going down into the sea 74 nautical miles off Flamborough Head” on the Yorkshire coast.
“The HM Coastguard helicopter from Humberside has been sent along with Bridlington and Scarborough RNLI lifeboats,” a spokesman said.