LONDON - The pilot of a fighter jet that crashed into the North Sea, off the coast of northern England, has been found dead, the U.S. Air Force said Monday.
In a statement hours after the crash, it said “the pilot of the downed F-15C Eagle from the 48th Fighter Wing has been located, and confirmed deceased.”
It said this is a “tragic loss” for the 48th Fighter wing community and sent condolences to the pilot's family.
The name of the pilot will not be released until all next of kin notifications have been made.
A file image shows an F-15C Eagle fighter jet on April 12, 1999 at Cervia Air Base in Italy. (Photo By Usaf/Getty Images)
Earlier, rescuers found the wreckage of the jet that was on a routine training mission from RAF Lakenheath when it crashed at 9:40 a.m. The cause of the crash wasn't immediately clear.
Britain's coast guard located wreckage from the downed fighter, and recovery efforts were underway, the U.S. Air Force said in a statement.
Coast guard officials said in a statement that they received reports the plane went down 74 nautical miles off Flamborough Head on the Yorkshire coast.
A helicopter and lifeboats were deployed.
“Other vessels nearby are heading to the area,” the coast guard said in a statement.
Lakenheath is a Royal Air Force base that hosts the U.S. Air Force's 48th Fighter Wing, known as the Liberty Wing. The base is about 80 miles northeast of London.
The wing has more than 4,500 active-duty military members.