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Pilot from Utah dies in fighter jet crash; cause unclear


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LONDON — The U.S. Air Force has confirmed that the Utah fighter pilot killed in a crash off the coast of northern England is 1st Lt. Kenneth “Kage” Allen.

Allen, 27, who was from northern Utah, died in a routine training accident that took place at 9:40 a.m. Monday. The cause of the F-15C Eagle crash is under investigation.

Col. Will Marshall, commander of the 48th Fighter Wing at the Royal Air Force’s Lakenheath base said that Allen had been stationed with them only since February.

“We are deeply saddened by the loss of Lt. Allen, and mourn with his family and his fellow Reapers in the 493rd Fighter Squadron,” Marshall said in a video statement Tuesday. “The tremendous outpouring of love and support from our communities has been a ray of light in this time of darkness.’’

According to the BBC, Allen’s jet crashed 84 miles off the East Yorkshire coast. The BBC said the British Coastguard, as well as lifeboat crews from nearby towns, were among those who took part in the search after the plane was reported missing around 9:30 local time Monday morning.

The crash is still under investigation.

Allen’s wife Hannah said she is shattered by the news.

”I never knew a heart could shatter like this. But I’ve promised you today that the rest of my life will be a tribute to you. A tribute to the Christlike way you lived and loved. Kage please forgive me as I lean on your faith for awhile. I know you’ll find a way to stay close,” she wrote on Facebook.

The Follow the Flag organizations also posted condolences saying Allen will receive a true hero’s welcome upon his return to the United States.

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