05/28/13 — F-15 down; pilot ejects

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F-15 down; pilot ejects

By From Staff And Wire Reports
Published in News on May 28, 2013 1:46 PM

TOKYO -- The U.S. Air Force F-15 that crashed off the southern Japan island of Okinawa early today after the aircraft developed problems in flight was not an asset of Seymour Johnson Air Force Base.

"All our aircraft are accounted for," said Maj. Amber Millerchip, 4th Fighter Wing Public Affairs chief.

The F-15, flying out of Kadena Air Base, went down in the Pacific about 115 kilometers (70 miles) east of Okinawa, the military said in a statement.

The pilot safely ejected and was recovered without incident.

Lt. Col. David Honchul, the chief spokesman for the U.S. Forces, Japan, said the pilot was recovered safely after a search by U.S. and Japanese rescue crews. After he ejected from the plane the pilot remained in contact with the rescuers. He was rescued by a Japanese air force helicopter.

The cause was under investigation. The pilot's name has not been released. The U.S. military said he was in stable condition and being evaluated at a military hospital on Okinawa.

The U.S. military has about 50,000 troops based in Japan, about half of them on Okinawa. Kadena Air Base is one of the largest U.S. airbases in the Asia-Pacific region. The F-15 was attached to Kadena's 18th Wing.

The crash was the first for an F-15 based at Kadena since January 2006.