Malfunction Downs F-15E Over Libya; Pilots Safe

An F-15E crashed in northeast Libya late Monday due to an equipment malfunction, US Africa Command officials announced. The two crewmembers ejected from the aircraft and are safe, they said. The F-15E, assigned to RAF Lakenheath, England, was flying out of Aviano AB, Italy, in support of Operation Odyssey Dawn at the time of the incident. The cause of the incident is under investigation. The Air Force is withholding the names of the pilot and weapon systems officer until notification of next of kin. Associated Press reported (via Yahoo News) that the aircraft went down about 25 miles outside of Benghazi, Libya’s second-largest city that is in the hands of forces opposing Libyan dictator Muammar Qaddafi. The aircrew was back in American hands, having suffered only minor injuries, according to AP.