- The Washington Times - Monday, June 15, 2020

Searchers have discovered the body of a U.S. Air Force fighter pilot who went down early Monday in the North Sea. The pilot was discovered after the wreckage of the F-15C Eagle was located.

It crashed about 9:30 a.m. local time. The wreckage was discovered by the British Coastguard.

The Air Force fighter pilot, who has not been identified, was assigned to the 48th Fighter Wing at RAF Lakenheath in Great Britain.

“It is with a very heavy heart that I confirm the pilot of the downed F-15C Eagle has been located and confirmed deceased,” said Air Force Col. William Marshall, commander of the 48th Fighter Wing.

The identity of the pilot will not be released until family members have been notified, Col. Marshall said.

“This is a tragic loss for the 48th Fighter Wing community and our deepest condolences go out to the pilots family and the 493rd Fighter Squadron,” Col. Marshall said.

Sky News in the U.K. reported that the single-seat fighter went down in the waters near Flamborough Head on the coast of East Yorkshire — about 160 miles north of the air base.

“At the time of the accident, the aircraft was on a routine training mission with one pilot on board,” the 48th Fighter Wing said in a statement.

The cause of the crash remains unknown, Air Force officials said.

The base is located about 80 miles northeast of London and represents the only U.S. Air Force F-35 fighter wing in Europe.

In a statement later Monday morning, Her Majesty’s Coastguard — part of the U.K.’s Maritime and Coastguard Agency — said it has dispatched crews and equipment to aid in a search-and-rescue operation.

“The HM Coastguard search and rescue helicopter from Humberside has been sent along with Bridlington and Scarborough RNLI lifeboats,” the U.K. Coastguard said. “Following a Mayday broadcast by HM Coastguard, other vessels nearby are heading to the area.”

• Mike Glenn can be reached at mglenn@washingtontimes.com.

• Ben Wolfgang can be reached at bwolfgang@washingtontimes.com.

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