F-15 pilot in ‘serious condition’ after crash off Okinawa
An Air Force pilot was in “serious condition” Monday after a fighter jet crashed into waters south of Okinawa in southern Japan.
The pilot of the F-15C Eagle from Kadena Air Base “successfully ejected and was safely recovered” an 18th Wing statement said. The incident happened at about 6:36 a.m. local time during a routine training mission.
The pilot was take to the U.S. Naval Hospital at Camp Foster, according to a post on Kadena’s official Twitter account. A separate post made hours later said the pilot was in serious condition.
“Our hearts and prayers go to the pilot and his family as they go through this difficult time,” it said.
The incident marks the 12th crash involving U.S. military aircraft this fiscal year.
The F-15C is the service’s legacy air superiority fighter and costs $29.9 million per jet.
About half of the 50,000 U.S. troops in Japan are stationed on the southern island prefecture. That heavy military presence has been the source of friction with residents and the local government.
In March, Japanese officials called on the U.S. military to provide information after an antenna fell from an Okinawa-based F-15 on Feb. 27. The part measured approximately 15 inches by 6 inches and weighed about 3 pounds.
An F-15 also crashed into the sea off Okinawa in May 2013.