At the time of the accident, the jet was on a routine training mission with the pilot onboard

By Eric Todisco
June 15, 2020 10:36 AM
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Credit: Yichuan Cao/NurPhoto/Getty

The pilot of a United States fighter jet is missing after the aircraft crashed in the North Sea off the east coast of England during a training mission on Monday, according to a statement from the Air Forces' 48th Fighter Wing.

A search and rescue operation is currently underway to recover the pilot, whose status, as well as the cause of the crash, remains unknown.

The F-15 fighter jet, which took off from Royal Air Force Base Lakenheath in eastern England, crashed down near Flamborough Head in East Yorkshire at about 9:40 a.m. local time.

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

According to BBC News, a spokeswoman for HM Coastguard said a helicopter and two lifeboats were sent to the area to assist with the search and rescue.

Earlier on Monday, the 48th Fighter Wing tweeted a photo of three jets in the air with the caption, "Ready to take on Monday like..."

Sky News' defense and security correspondent, Alistair Bunkall, reported that there were four military jets in the air at the time the US fighter jet came down.

On Monday morning, Col. Will Marshall confirmed in a press conference that the pilot was still missing.

"Search and Rescue effort are currently underway, but the pilot and of the aircraft is still missing. We will provide updates as they become available while prioritizing respect and consideration for the pilot's family," he said.

Col. Marshall added, "We are extremely grateful for the timely response of our UK counterparts in the support of these recovery efforts and remain hopeful that our Liberty Wing airman will be located and recovered."