Suffolk

US Lakenheath fighter jet crash in Lincolnshire cost revealed

F-15 crash, Weston Hills, Lincolnshire Image copyright US Department of Defense
Image caption The jet crashed at about 15:28 BST on Wednesday, 8 October, 2014 after the pilot ejected safely

A US fighter jet crash destroyed a £28.6m ($44m) aircraft and left a clean-up bill of nearly £400,000 ($600,000), an investigation revealed.

The pilot ejected safely from a F-15D during a training exercise in October.

The plane, based at RAF Lakenheath in Suffolk, crashed into a field near Spalding in Lincolnshire.

Documents released by the US Department of Defense under the Freedom of Information Act do not reveal what caused the crash.

Image copyright US Dept of Defense
Image caption The crash site was close to housing and a primary school in the village of Weston Hills
Image copyright US dept of defense
Image caption The F-15D was worth £28.6m ($44m) according to the US Department of Defense

The jet was on a training exercise with another F-15D when it went into a flat spin at 15,000ft (4,600m) above sea level at about 15:28 on 8 October.

The pilot, who had the rank of captain, ejected at about 6,000ft (1,830m) above sea level.

The aircraft landed and was on fire in a field a few hundred yards from the village school and housing.

British Ministry of Defence officials from RAF Wyton in Cambridgeshire were in charge of cleaning the field at an estimated cost of £393,235 ($605,405).


Environmental clean-up costs

  • excavation/removal of contaminated soil: £52,296 ($80,513)
  • transfer of contaminated soil to landfill: £284,921 ($438,651)
  • reinstatement of topsoil: £55,373 ($85,250)
  • labour and equipment costs: £644 ($991)

The USAF will pay for 75% of the clean-up, with the remaining 25% paid by the British Ministry of Defence.

A USAF spokesman at RAF Lakenheath said the accident investigation board had yet to finish its study into the cause of the crash.

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