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South Korean F-15 crashes; body of pilot recovered, search for co-pilot to continue

F-15K Slam Eagles from the South Korean air force's 11th Tactical Fighter Wing out of Daegu Air Base, fly with an F-16 Fighting Falcon March 11 over Kunsan Air Base, South Korea. The three aircraft were participating in the Buddy Wing program, an operation designed to increase U.S. Air Force and South Korean air force interoperability. (U.S. Air Force photo/Staff Sgt. Jason Colbert)
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Search crews recovered the body of one of two pilots of a South Korean fighter jet that slammed into a mountain Thursday while flying home from a mission.

The F-15K was on its way back to the Daegu Air Base when it crashed in the rural southern area of Chilgok, according to the air force. It said no civilian damages had been reported.

A defense ministry official, who declined to be named according to department rules, said the cause of the crash was under investigation.

The official said he did not know if the jet was on a mission as part of annual U.S.-South Korean war games that are underway on the divided peninsula.

The air force later said the body of the pilot who was sitting in the front seat had been recovered. It said it would resume the search for the co-pilot on Friday.

Local authorities said there was a thick fog in the area where the crash occurred.

The Yonhap News Agency reported that it was the first crash involving a Boeing-made Slam Eagle since 2006.

The U.S. military also suffered from three crashes this week, including an F-16 fighter jet that went down Wednesday during a routine aerial demonstration training flight in Nevada, killing the pilot.

A Marine CH-35E Super Stallion crashed Tuesday in southern California, leaving the four-person crew presumed dead. A Marine AV-8B Harrier attack jet also crashed after takeoff Tuesday in Djibouti, although the pilot survived.

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© 2018 the Stars and Stripes

Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.

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