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.”