- The Washington Times - Wednesday, October 21, 2015

British police said one person was killed when a F/A-18C Hornet jet crashed Wednesday near an air base in the U.K.

Cambridgeshire police told BBC News the pilot has died.

“There is believed to have been one person on board, and there has been one confirmed fatality,” police said.

Officials said the plane took off from Lakenheath air base, but was not connected to the base, the BBC reported.

It crashed in farmland in Redmere, about 7 miles from Lakenheath around 10:30 a.m.

The U.S. Marine Corps said in a statement that the F/A-18C Hornet was part of a flight of six Marine Hornets returning to the U.S. after being deployed to Jordan to combat the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria as part of Operation Inherent Resolve.

The jet belonged to Marine Attack Fighter Squadron 232 and had been stationed at Marine Corps Air Station Miramar in San Diego, Calif.

The jet crashed approximately six miles northwest of the Lanheath airfield, according to the Marine Corps. The other five aircraft were safely diverted to RAF Lossiemouth.

The Marine Corps said the U.K. coast guard was on the scene of the crash site and is closely coordinating with U.S. military officials.

“Our deepest condolences go out to the family and friends of the pilot. The cause of the crash is still unknown,” the statement reads.

This is not the first time a U.S. jet has crashed near Lakenheath.

A year ago, a U.S. Air Force F-15 crashed in a field near the air base. The pilot was not seriously hurt.

In January 2014 four U.S. Air Force crew members based at Lakenheath died when their helicopter hit a flock of geese and crashed during a training mission.

The twin-engine F/A-18C Hornet comes in single-seat and two-seat versions. It is the same jet used by the famous Blue Angels since 1986.

• Kellan Howell can be reached at khowell@washingtontimes.com.

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