Kadena Air Base’s 18th Wing has suspended noncritical flights of its F-15 Eagle fighters, pending an investigation of a crash Friday of an Air National Guard F-15C during training in Missouri.
The duration of the suspension was unknown Monday and cannot be determined until further inspection and analysis of the downed jet is completed, according to Kadena spokesman Scott Halliford.
The 18th Wing has about 50 F-15 C and D models of the twin-engine jet, he said.
The Air Force said in a news release Sunday that preliminary findings indicate a possible structural failure of the Missouri aircraft may have occurred. The suspension of noncritical operations of the Air Force’s more than 700 F-15s worldwide is a precautionary measure, the release said.
No F-15s are assigned to other air bases in Japan or in South Korea.
News reports said the Missouri crash occurred in a wooded area of Dent County, about 125 miles south of St. Louis. The unidentified pilot ejected and was treated at a hospital for non-life-threatening injuries.
Officials said the jet was among four that split into pairs and engaged in one-on-one training fights, according to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. The other three planes landed safely.