Published: May 27, 2013 11:56 PM EDT

TOKYO (AP) - A U.S. Air Force F-15 fighter has crashed off the southern Japan island of Okinawa after the aircraft developed problems in flight and the pilot ejected.
    
U.S. military officials said the crash occurred early Tuesday. They said U.S. and Japanese rescue crews were searching for the pilot, who was believed to have ejected safely and was in contact with the rescuers.
    
The F-15, flying out of Kadena Air Base, went down in the Pacific about 115 kilometers (70 miles) east of Okinawa, according to U.S. Forces, Japan.
    
The cause was under investigation. The pilot's name has not been released.