F-15D Pilot Released from Hospital After Ejecting from Aircraft

The F-15D pilot who ejected from his aircraft before it crashed during a training mission from RAF Lakenheath, England, on Oct. 8 has been released from the hospital and is “in fine spirits,” reported Stars and Stripes. The pilot, who has not been identified but is assigned to the 493rd Fighter Squadron, ejected safely, but the aircraft was destroyed when it crashed in a field north of the base, states a release. The crash, the second of an F-15 in less than two months, is under investigation. Col. Robert Novotny, 48th Fighter Wing commander, thanked the airmen from the wing’s aircrew flight equipment shop and the 56th Rescue Squadron for their role in enabling the pilot’s escape from his jet and returning him to the base. “When the pilot made the last minute decision of ‘I have to save my life,’ and reached for the [ejection seat] handles, it worked, and it worked because of the work you guys do,” Novotny told the airmen from the 48th Component Maintenance Squadron egress section, which supports the ejection systems.