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U.S. F-16 jet, pilot missing over Adriatic

Aeroplane lost contact with controllers during training mission

29 January, 10:46
U.S. F-16 jet, pilot missing over Adriatic (ANSA) - Cervia, January 29 - Italian coast guards and American military continued a massive search on Tuesday for the pilot of a United States F-16 fighter jet that went missing over the Adriatic on Monday.

A fuel slick was seen off the coast near the Italian town of Cervia and a fishing vessel found carbon fragments that could belong to the jet early on Tuesday.

The pilot lost contact with controllers at around 8pm local time on Monday after taking off from the Aviano Air Base in northern Italy for a training mission.

Sources at Aviano's Pagliano e Gori airport, which has jurisdiction over flights from the US air base, said the fear is technical problem occurred that was "so sudden and serious that the pilot did not have time to activate the mechanism that makes it possible to eject, after having established that the plane could not cause risks for the local population".