F-15 Crash

Air Force officials are not providing any additional information on the crash of an F-15E Strike Eagle during a training exercise in eastern North Carolina.

Military officials say the jet from Seymour Johnson Air Force Base hit the ground and caught fire in a wooded area on Wednesday after the pilot and the weapons system operator ejected safely. The jet was assigned to the base's Fourth Fighter Wing.

Johnston County Sheriff Steve Bizzell says one flier's parachute snagged in a tree about 30 feet off the ground before he was rescued about an hour after the crash.

More than a thousand members of the 4,500 member Fourth Fighter Wing, which flies the F-15Es, were deployed to the Middle East this year. They flew numerous bombing sorties on targets in Iraq before beginning to return home in April. It is not known if the jet or crew in Wednesday's crash was deployed in Iraq.

(Copyright 2003 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)