A police helicopter hovers over the site of a plane crash in Cambridgeshire, eastern England, on Wednesday.


The pilot of a US fighter jet was killed on Wednesday when it crashed on farmland after taking off from a US Air Force (USAF) base in eastern England, officials said.

The US Marine Corps F/A-18 Hornet came down in Redmere near Ely, a rural area about 70 miles (110 km) north of London.

"A military aircraft which had taken off from RAF Lakenheath in Suffolk came down at about 10.30 am," a police spokeswoman said. "We can confirm one fatality and believe there was just one person on board the aircraft."

Officials from Lakenheath and another nearby USAF air base at RAF Mildenhall said further details were due to be released shortly.

"Sadly, we can now confirm that the pilot of the crashed F-18 has died," the US embassy in London posted on Twitter.

Lakenheath, home to Europe's only F-15 fighter wing, is the largest USAF-operated base in England with 4,500 active-duty military personnel and 2,000 British and US civilians, according to its website.

Last year, four crew on board a US Pave Hawk helicopter based at Lakenheath were killed when their aircraft crashed during a training exercise in a rural area on the north Norfolk coast.

Related Story