The British coast guard launched a search and rescue operation on Monday to find the pilot of a US fighter jet that crashed during a routine training mission in the North Sea.
The U.S. Air Force said the F-15C Eagle crashed after takeoff from the RAF Lakenheath base near the town of Mildenhall in eastern England.
In the base is the 48th fighter wing, which has been operating from there since 1960 and has more than 4,500 active military personnel.
"A U.S. Air Force F-15C Eagle crashed in the North Sea at about 9:40 a.m. (8:40 a.m. GMT) today (Monday)," said RAF Lakenheath USAF captain Miranda T. Simmons.
"The cause of the crash and the status of the pilot are currently unknown, and UK Search and Rescue has been called on to assist."
The Maritime and Coast Guard Agency said it is coordinating the response.
"The HM Coastguard helicopter from Humberside was sent along with the lifeboats Bridlington and Scarborough RNLI (Royal National Lifeboat Institution)," said a statement.
"After a Mayday program from HM Coastguard, other ships are sailing nearby," he added, adding that the plane went down 137 nautical miles (137 kilometers) off the East Yorkshire coast.
Sky News cited a website for flight trackers and said the plane circled the area before it disappeared.
The Boeing-made single-seater F-15C was put into service by the U.S. Air Force in 1979, according to Jane's security and defense group.
A total of 211 of the 409 aircraft produced are in use today.
Royal Air Force spokesman Martin Tinworth said the aircraft had an "exceptional aviation safety record".
An American F-18 fighter plane crashed near the city of Ely in eastern England in October 2015 and killed the pilot after taking off from RAF Lakenheath.
An F-15 plane crashed from the base to a field last October, but the pilot safely threw it out. Four planes were killed in January of this year when a US helicopter crashed during low-flying training.
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