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Air Force Pilot Who Ejected from F-15D Released from Hospital

British military members block a road on Thursday, Oct. 9, 2014, close to the site of a U.S. F-15D crash near the town of Weston Hills, England. ADAM L. MATHIS/STARS AND STRIPES

WESTON HILLS, England — A U.S. Air Force pilot who ejected from an F-15D fighter jet during a training exercise Wednesday is out of the hospital and “in fine spirits,” an Air Force spokesman said.

The pilot, with the 493rd Fighter Squadron at RAF Lakenheath, suffered minor injuries. His plane was not carrying ammunition or explosives, the spokesman said.

The crash site, not far from the town of Weston Hills, remained cordoned off by British officials Thursday to preserve forensic evidence. The Air Force said a panel will investigate the crash, but a Lakenheath official on Thursday could not say whether Air Force investigators were on the scene.

Phil Jerwood, a local resident, said he saw the plane fall in an uncontrolled spin. His attention had been drawn to the sky by something he could not describe.

“There was just something that wasn’t quite right,” he said.

Roger Clarke, Jerwood’s neighbor, heard a “loud bang” followed by black smoke that “smelt and tasted very toxic.”

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