US pilot in fighter jet crash named; accident cause unclear

U.S. Air Force F-15's from 194 squadron based at RAF Lakenheath fly past during the...
U.S. Air Force F-15's from 194 squadron based at RAF Lakenheath fly past during the rededication of the American Air Museum at the Duxford Imperial War Museum, England in this Sept. 27, 2002 file photo. A F-15 from the base crashed into the North Sea on Monday morning. (AP Photo/Max Nash/file)(Associated Press)
Published: Jun. 15, 2020 at 8:44 AM EDT|Updated: Jun. 15, 2020 at 9:55 AM EDT
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6-16-2020 Update

LONDON (AP) — The fighter pilot that died after crashing off the coast of northern England has been identified as 1st Lt. Kenneth Allen, the U.S. Air Force said Tuesday.

Allen, assistant chief of weapons and tactics for the 493rd Fighter Squadron, died in a routine training accident that took place at at 9:40 a.m. Monday. The cause of the F-15C Eagle crash is under investigation.

Allen had been based with the 48th Fighter Wing at the Royal Air Force’s Lakenheath base since February of this year.

“We are deeply saddened by the loss of Lt. Allen, and mourn with his family and his fellow Reapers in the 493rd Fighter Squadron," said Col. Will Marshall, 48th Fighter Wing commander. “The tremendous outpouring of love and support from our communities has been a ray of light in this time of darkness.’’

Allen is survived by his wife and his parents. His age and hometown were not immediately available.

Original Story

A U.S. Air Force fighter plane with one pilot on board crashed into the North Sea on Monday. The status of the pilot wasn’t known.

The F-15C Eagle from the 48th Fighter Wing 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.

U.K. search and rescue authorities are taking part in the search of the crash site. 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 have been 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 (130 kilometers) northeast of London.

The wing has more than 4,500 active-duty military members.

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