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US pilot killed in F-18 jet crash named

US pilot killed in F-18 jet crash named.

The US pilot who died when his F-18 Hornet jet crashed in a Cambridgeshire field has been named as Major Taj Sareen of the Marine Corps.

The 34-year-old was killed when his jet came down on farmland at Redmere, near RAF Mildenhall in Suffolk, on Wednesday.
His squadron had just set off from RAF Lakenheath back to the US.
The pilot, who lived in San Mateo County, California, became a Marine Corps pilot in 2005.

'Sombre mood'

He graduated from the University of San Francisco (USF) in 2004.
US ABC7 news photographer Chris Jewitt, who attended USF with Major Sareen, told the news network: "He had this confidence and this infectious smile.
"When he came in the room everyone wanted to talk to him."
Major Sareen, the father of a young girl, ejected from the plane but did not survive, The US Marine Corps said.
Colonel Robert Novotny, Commander of 48th fighter wing RAF Lakenheath, said: "We are very sad about the loss of a fellow team member. We are ready to assist in any way in the investigation."
He said Marine Corps investigators were arriving later and would lead the probe, which was expected to take two to three months.
"The mood is very sombre on the base, but very professional," he added.
The aircraft was part of a fleet of six fighter jets due to fly to California, the US air force said.
The remaining five FA-18 Hornets safely diverted to RAF Lossiemouth airfield in Moray. The aircraft had been en-route from Bahrain and were scheduled to fly to their base in Miramar.

F-18 Hornet :

  • The McDonnell Douglas F-18 Hornet is an all-weather fighter and attack aircraft which was introduced in the 1980s
  • The US Navy said it proved itself in the 1991 Gulf War in air-to-air combat
  • Its two jet engines can push it to 1.8 times the speed of sound
  • The jets can cost anything between about $30m (£20m) to $60m (£40m).
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