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Entire F-15 fleet returns to flight

The US air force is to return its entire fleet of around 700 Boeing F-15s  to flight following rigourous inspections as a result of an accident that led to the loss of an aircraft in early November.

Missouri Air National Guard F-15C crashed while engaged in air combat training with three other F-15s on 2 November. The pilot ejected safely.

F-15 operators in Japan, Israel and Saudi Arabia followed the USA in grounding their respective fleets of the aircraft type shortly after the accident.

Gen. John D W Corley, commander, Air Combat Command, says: "As of today (21 November), 219 of the 224 E-models and 294 of the 442 A-D models in the inventory have been inspected and cleared for flight."

He says that "the circumstances of the mishap indicated catastrophic structural failure", and that the "cause of the mishap remains under investigation". 

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