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2 pilots eject from F-15 when it leaves runway in Illinois

May 18, 2021 GMT
Emergency crews on the scene where two pilots ejected from a F-15 fighter aircraft on a runway at MidAmerica St. Louis Airport, Tuesday, May 18, 2021, in Mascoutah, Ill. (Laurie Skrivan/St. Louis Post-Dispatch via AP)
Emergency crews on the scene where two pilots ejected from a F-15 fighter aircraft on a runway at MidAmerica St. Louis Airport, Tuesday, May 18, 2021, in Mascoutah, Ill. (Laurie Skrivan/St. Louis Post-Dispatch via AP)
Emergency crews on the scene where two pilots ejected from a F-15 fighter aircraft on a runway at MidAmerica St. Louis Airport, Tuesday, May 18, 2021, in Mascoutah, Ill. (Laurie Skrivan/St. Louis Post-Dispatch via AP)

MASCOUTAH, Ill. (AP) — Two pilots ejected safely from an F-15 fighter jet Tuesday morning when the aircraft left a runway while landing at a southwestern Illinois airport, military officials said.

The two U.S. active duty pilots suffered minor injuries in the 7:30 a.m. incident at MidAmerica St. Louis Airport in Mascoutah, Illinois, the U.S. Air Force said in a statement. MidAmerica is located about 25 miles (40 kilometers) east of St. Louis.

Officials at the nearby Scott Air Force Base said both pilots were taken to a hospital, and one has since been released.

Scott Air Force Base officials said in February that Boeing’s new F-15QA, which was designed for the Qatar Emiri Air Force, would operate out of MidAmerica and that Qatari student pilots would be trained on the aircraft there for several months.

The F-15QA involved in Tuesday’s incident “was slated to be transferred to the Qatari Air Force through the Foreign Military Sales program. The incident is currently under investigation,” the U.S. Air Force said in its statement.