US F-15C Crashed Off UK Coast, Pilot Deceased

 In Military

A massive search and rescue operation ensued after a USAF F-15C Eagle crashed into the North Sea on Monday. The pilot’s body was located several hours later by Search and Rescue teams. At least 10 vessels participated in the search in addition to the aircraft that searched for debris.

1st Lt Kenneth Allen

UPDATE: The pilot has been identified as USAF 1st Lt Kenneth Allen, affecitonately known as “Kage.”(Stripes)

Stripes reported,

The body of the pilot of a U.S. Air Force F-15 jet that crashed into the North Sea was found Monday after an hourslong search off the coast of northeast England, officials said.

“It is with a very heavy heart that I confirm the pilot of the downed F-15C Eagle has been located and confirmed deceased…This is a tragic loss for the 48th Fighter Wing community and our deepest condolences go out to the pilot’s family and the 493rd Fighter Squadron.” Col. Will Marshall, commander of the 48th Fighter Wing, based at RAF Lakenheath in England, said in a video message…

Several British and American military planes, and British coast guard helicopters, helped search for the pilot, media reports said.

Two British lifeboats were also dispatched to the site where the crash occurred, Jim Rice, a spokesman for the Royal National Lifeboat Institution, told Stars and Stripes.

An emergency communication from “Call Sign CHOSEN4” over a NATO channel was received from the pilot at round 9:30 a.m. on Monday. The plane was attached to the 493rd Fighter Squadron, 48th Fighter Wing out of Lakenheath Air Base in England.

The Aviationist reported,

The U.S. Air Force 493rd Fighter Squadron “Grim Reapers”, the only F-15C squadron in Europe and the squadron that flew the Eagle crashed today, is also the 2019 Raytheon Trophy as top Air Superiority Squadron.

The Raytheon Trophy is awarded annually to the top air-superiority and air-defense squadron in the Air Force. Nominees are graded on air-defense and air-superiority mission performance, operational mission performance, organizational readiness inspection results, training exercise participation, unit and individual achievements and flight safety.

The flight was reportedly a “routine training flight,” and the pilot was the only person aboard the aircraft.

Featured photo: “Two F-15C Eagles assigned to the 493rd Fighter Squadron fly over RAF Lakenheath, England, May 20, 2020. An F-15C from Lakenheath crashed in the North Sea, Monday, June 15, 2020, the 48th Fighter Wing said in a statement. JESSI MONTE/U.S. AIR FORCE”

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