UK
21/10/2015 11:57 BST | Updated 21/10/2015 22:59 BST

Pilot Dead As US Fighter Jet Crashes Near RAF Lakenheath, Suffolk

A US FA-18 Hornet fighter jet has crashed near RAF Lakenheath in Suffolk.

One person, the plane's pilot, has been confirmed dead by Cambridgeshire Police.

BBC producer Jonny Hallam said that he was told by an eyewitness that the pilot saved lives by steering the jet away from a group of 20 houses.

Karen Miles-Holdaway, who lives nearby, was quoted by the Cambridge News as saying: "I was in my garden when I saw the plane going over. It was much lower than they usually fly at.

"I have so much praise for the pilot as I have heard he didn't make it. He took the plane away from the houses which was brilliant.

"We are just very grateful to him."

The plane reportedly crashed north-east of the base as it returned to the United States via the UK

It is thought to have been on deployment in the Middle East, according to the Telegraph.

There were reports of bad weather around the area of the crash this morning.

According to BBC Radio Suffolk, an RAF Lakenheath spokesman confirmed that the plane was a US Navy jet which had taken off from the base this morning.

Pictures emerging from the scene showed farmland littered with debris

US Fighter Jet Crashes Near RAF Lakenheath

Sky News reported that the US embassy in London said the Air Force had launched an investigation into the crash.

The US Ambassador to the United Kingdom Matthew Barzun tweeted: