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U.S. Jets Missing Over Scotland

March 26, 2001

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LONDON (AP) _ Two U.S. F-15 fighter jets were reported missing Monday over a Scottish mountain range, the U.S. Air Force said. Hours later, no trace of them had been found.

Meanwhile, an Army reconnaissance plane crashed Monday afternoon in Germany, killing two people on board. The aircraft, based in Wiesbaden, was on a training mission when it went down in a forest area near the town of Schwabach, the Army said.

The two Air Force fighters, on an afternoon training flight from the U.S. air base at Lakenheath, 75 miles northeast of London, lost contact with controllers when they were over the Cairngorm Mountains in the Scottish Highlands, Lakenheath spokeswoman Maj. Stacee Bako said. Each F-15C carried only a pilot, Bako said.

The Royal Air Force said two Nimrod reconnaissance planes and three Sea King helicopters were searching the area, helped by two RAF mountain rescue teams on the ground.

Police said they had no reports of any planes coming down.

The Royal Air Force was mystified by the lack of reports of wreckage, and a spokeswoman said there was no sign of an emergency beacon, smoke or fire.

Weather in the Cairngorms for most of the afternoon had been cold and bright with good visibility and light southerly winds, meteorologists said. But snow and sleet showers were beginning to develop in the mountains.

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