The Air Force has decided to ground all 676 F-15 fighter jets in service because of a recent crash that is thought to have originated from a mechanical defect that may have caused the plane to break up in flight.


The plane belonged to the Missouri Air National Guard and was being used in a training exercise when it crashed near the city of Salem, Missouri.

It is thought that the plane, which dated from 1980, started to break up in the air. The pilot ejected, suffering a broken arm and minor cuts and bruises.

The Air Force now says hundreds of jets are to undergo urgent safety checks, including those on mission in Afghanistan. The planes are no longer used in Iraq.

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