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NATO: F-16 Crashes, Pilot Saved

May 2, 1999

BRUSSELS, Belgium (AP) _ NATO said Sunday a U.S. Marine Corps AV8B Harrier plane crashed in the Adriatic Sea Saturday while on a training mission for operations in the Balkans. The pilot was reported safety rescued.

It was the second report of a crashed U.S. warplane in 24 hours operating over and around Yugoslavia.

Hours earlier, the alliance said a U.S. F-16 fighter plane had gone down over western Serbia early Sunday. The pilot of the aircraft was rescued by allied forces.

The pilot, who ejected from the plane, was back at an allied base undergoing medical examination, said officials at NATO’s military headquarters in southern Belgium.

Initial reports indicated the pilot, whose name was not released, was in good health, Lt. Col. Mike Philips said.

NATO spokesman Jamie Shea said the AV8B Harrier plane crashed into the sea while approaching a carrier of the Marine Expeditionary Force to land.

Shea said the plane was not involved in air strikes on Yugoslavia when it came down and their was no suspicion it has hit by hostile fire.

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