Belfast Telegraph

Home News World

US fighter plane crashes in Libya

An American jet has crashed in Libya, but US officials insist it was not shot down.

The US military said both crew members on board the F-15 Strike Eagle ejected from the aircraft and had been recovered separately. Both sustained minor injuries.

A spokesman said the plane may have suffered a mechanical problem.

He said the crew members were separated because they ejected at high altitudes and ended up in different areas.

A US defence official said a Marine Osprey search and rescue aircraft rescued the pilot, and the second crew member, a weapons officer, was taken in by Libyan rebels and then handed over to the US.

The aircraft involved was based at RAF Lakenheath in Suffolk, which is home to three squadrons of US F-15s, and it was flying out of Italy's Aviano Air Base in support of Operation Odyssey Dawn.

The US Air Force has said B-2, F-15 and F-16 fighters are participating in operations over Libya.

The US's involvement in Libya is being run by Africa Command, which is based in Stuttgart, Germany.

Africa Command launched in October 2008 after the Pentagon abandoned efforts to base the command on the continent after it hit resistance among the African nations, and instead posted about two dozen liaison officers at African embassies.

It has been reported that six Libyan villagers had been shot and injured during a mission to rescue a crew member from a US F-15 fighter which crashed in eastern Libya. A Channel 4 News reporter in the country said the locals were in hospital and that the father of one young boy said his son's leg would have to be amputated.


From Belfast Telegraph