Pilot safe as U.S. fighter crashes off Japan
Tokyo (CNN) -- A U.S. Air Force pilot was rescued after the F-16 fighter he was flying crashed into the Pacific Ocean off the coast of northern Japan.
According to the Air Force, the pilot ejected safely from the F-16 at approximately 4:20 Tuesday afternoon (3:30 a.m. EDT). He was the sole occupant of the aircraft that was assigned to the Misawa Air Base.
A Japanese Maritime Self Defense Forces helicopter plucked the pilot from a life raft approximately 100 meters offshore, an official said.
The pilot was able to walk to a waiting stretcher, and has since been returned to the air base, according to the Pentagon.
The jet was involved in an air-to-ground training mission when the pilot ejected from the jet about 10 miles south of the air base. The cause of the crash will be investigated.
Misawa is home to the 35th Fighter Wing of the US Air Force and is located on the northern tip of Japan's largest main island of Honshu.
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