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U.S. F-16 fighter based in Italy may have crashed in Adriatic
January 28, 2013 / 9:04 PM / 5 years ago

U.S. F-16 fighter based in Italy may have crashed in Adriatic

ROME (Reuters) - A U.S. F-16 fighter jet may have crashed on Monday during a training exercise over the Adriatic Sea and the U.S. Air Force said the status of its Italy-based pilot was unknown.

A U.S. Air Force F-16 fighter jet flies over the NATO airbase in Aviano, northern Italy, in this March 21, 2011 file photo. REUTERS/Alessandro Garofalo/Files (ITALY - Tags: MILITARY DISASTER)

Search efforts, aided by Italy’s Coast Guard, were under way and the Air Force declined to offer many details.

It said only that it “lost contact” with the F-16 at about 8 p.m. local (2100 GMT) - language often used to describe a possible crash, although Air Force officials declined to speculate about the incident.

“The aircraft was performing a training mission over the Adriatic Sea with one person on board. The pilot’s condition is unknown at this time,” the Air Force said in a statement.

Italy’s Coast Guard confirmed it was helping in the search-and-rescue effort.

A spokeswoman at Aviano Air Base in northern Italy said more information would released as it became available.

Reporting by Steve Scherer in Rome and Phil Stewart in Washington; Editing by Mohammad Zargham

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