One member of air crew has died and two others remain unaccounted for after two Tornado jets crashed off the coast of Scotland on Tuesday afternoon.
The man who died was an officer from 15 (Reserve) Squadron, based at RAF Lossiemouth in Moray.
A fourth crew member is in a serious but stable condition in hospital.
The name of the officer who died has not yet been released.
Group Captain Ian Gale, the station commander at the RAF base, said Wednesday's decision not to resume the search and rescue operation for the missing crew was due to "extremely poor" weather conditions in the area.
He said in a statement: "The operation will be resumed as a recovery operation as soon as possible, but we must be realistic: given the length of time that has elapsed since the accident, there is no expectation of recovering missing personnel alive.
"The Royal Air Force is in contact with the next of kin of all those involved. As I am sure you will understand, they have asked for a period of time to take in the news and inform extended family members before further details are released."
Mr Gale said the incident will be subject to a full investigation.