A Boeing F-15C Eagle – assigned to the US Air Forces Europe’s (USAFE’s) 48th Fighter Wing (FW) at RAF Lakenheath, Suffolk – has crashed into the North Sea.
The incident occurred on June 15 at approximately 0940hrs (local time, GMT). The single-seat multi-role fighter was on a routine training mission at the time of the crash. According to a release from the 48th FW, “the cause of the crash as well as the status of the pilot are unknown, and UK search and rescue have been called to support.”
Reports indicate that the F-15C involved in the crash was using the callsign “CHOSEN 04”, which is typically associated with aircraft operated by the 493rd Fighter Squadron (FS) ‘The Grim Reapers’. The aircraft was part of a flight of four other F-15Cs.
Search and rescue (SAR) operations are currently ongoing for the pilot, more details will be published when they become available. Please see below for additional updates:
UPDATE (15/06 - 1745hrs):
In support of the SAR operations, Her Majesty's (HM) Coastguard has located the wreckage of the downed fighter and recovery efforts are now underway. The pilot is still missing at this time and SAR operations continue. More follows...
UPDATE (15/06 – 1830hrs):
Ongoing SAR efforts have located the pilot of the downed F-15C Eagle and has been confirmed as deceased. In a statement, Col William Marshall, commander of the 48th FW, said: “This is a tragic loss for the 48th FW community, and our deepest condolences go out to the pilot’s family and the 493rd FS.” The name of the pilot will not be released until all of the next of kin have been notified.