US F-15 Fighter Crashes In Pacific Off Japan’s Okinawa Prefecture; Pilot Recovered Safely, No Casualties Suffered

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F-15 crash site
An unidentified object floating in the ocean is seen near the site of a U.S. fighter jet crash, off Okinawa Prefecture on May 28, 2013

A U.S. Air Force F-15 fighter plane crashed off Japan’s Okinawa prefecture early on Tuesday, but no casualties were reported as the pilot ejected and was rescued, news agencies reported, citing Japanese and the U.S. officials.

The F-15, flying out of the U.S. air base in Kadena, Okinawa, crashed into the Pacific about 115 km (71 miles) east of the island, AP reported.

Japan Air Self Defense Force rescue squadron crews rescued the pilot, who is in a stable condition, Kadena Air Base said in a statement.

The statement said the cause of the crash was yet to be determined. It added that the name of the pilot could not be released as of now.

Japan’s coast guard said U.S. forces in Japan alerted them around 9:00 a.m. local time.

“We sent airplanes and patrol ships to the scene after we received a call for help from Kadena Air Base,” an official told AFP.

“We heard the pilot, the only person who was aboard, parachuted down and is safe, hanging on to something,” in the sea, he said.

The crashed fighter, attached to Kadena’s 18th wing, and three other F-15s were on their way to take part in training exercises above Okinawa.

The base in Kadena is one of the largest U.S. military installations in the Asia-Pacific region and its 18th Wing defends U.S. and Japanese mutual interests.

The last time an F-15 based at Kadena crashed was in January 2006, according to AP.

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