U.S. Air Force Plane Crashes on Training Flight
OSLO, Norway (AP) _ A U.S. Air Force fighter plane crashed on an island in an isolated region off Norway’s mountainous northern coast, a Norwegian defense spokesman said today.
The A-10 one-seater plane disappeared on a training flight Monday, and its wreckage was spotted from the air two hours after a land and sea search resumed after dawn today, said Maj. Gunnar Mjell. He said the pilot’s fate was not known.
Mjell was reached by telephone at the northern search headquarters at Bodo, about 75 miles from where the plane crashed.
He said the wreckage was seen on the island of Austvagoy in the Lofoten archipelago, about 625 miles north of the Norwegian capital of Oslo.
Col. George Manolis, the air attache at the U.S. Embassy in Oslo, told The Associated Press the plane disappeared on a training flight during ″Cold Winter,″ a joint exercise with the Norwegian air force.
Manolis said the plane, a close air support aircraft, disappeared from a formation of other American jet fighters over Vest Fiord, an inlet 120 miles north of the Arctic Circle.
″I have no idea how it got separated,″ he said.
He said the search was hampered by difficult ground conditions. ″That mountain range up there would certainly complicate things,″ he said.
Manolis said the exercise has been under way for nearly two weeks, and that this was the first serious accident.