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Pilot still missing as wreckage of downed RAF Lakenheath fighter jet found in North Sea

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Search and rescue crews have found the wreckage of a downed fighter jet from RAF Lakenheath.

The F-15C Eagle, from the 48th Fighter Wing, crashed at about 9.40am today into the North Sea while on a training mission, with the coastguard finding the wreckage of the jet this afternoon.

But the pilot is still missing, with search and rescue teams continuing to look for the missing airman about 60 miles off the coast of Flamborough Head, in Yorkshire.

An F-15C Eagle jet aircraft in flight (36661358)
An F-15C Eagle jet aircraft in flight (36661358)

A spokesman from HM Coastguard said: "The HM Coastguard helicopter from Humberside has been sent along with Bridlington and Scarborough RNLI lifeboats.

"Following a Mayday broadcast by HM Coastguard, other vessels nearby are heading to the area."

Earlier Col Will Marshall, commander of the base which is also known as the Liberty Wing, said: "Search and rescue efforts are currently under way, but the pilot of the aircraft is still missing. We will provide updates as they become available, while prioritising respect and consideration for the pilot's family.

"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."

The F-15C, a single-seater air defence fighter, is a model of jet that has been used by the US Air Force since 1979.