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Published: Tuesday, 6/26/2007

Guard fighter jet crashes into Pacific; fate of pilot unknown


PORTLAND, Ore. An F-15 fighter jet went down Tuesday afternoon in the Pacific Ocean during a training mission, the Oregon National Guard said. There was no word on the fate of the pilot.

The Coast Guard sent two helicopters, two cutters and a C-130 aircraft to search for the jet about 40 miles west of Cannon Beach on the state s north coast.

The jet was from the 142nd Fighter Wing, Oregon Air National Guard and was on a training mission. It was based in Portland.

A second jet was on the mission, said Coast Guard Petty Officer Shawn Eggert, who is based in Seattle. It stayed on scene until the helicopters arrived and then headed back to Portland, he said.

It wasn t known whether the pilot of the downed jet was able to eject, Eggert said.

The pilot of the second jet told the Coast Guard that no parachute was visible, Eggert said.

The cause of the accident was not known. Skies were mostly clear with some high clouds when the accident occurred about 1:35 p.m.

The water temperature was about 58 degrees, Eggert said. The jets are usually equipped with a life boat, and pilots are outfitted in a way that should have been enough to keep him warm out there for a while.

He said the Coast Guard was doing everything possible to locate the pilot as quickly as possible and bring this guy home.

Read more in later editions of The Blade and toledoblade.com

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