Navy Fighter Jet Crashes, Killing Pilot

F/A-18E Super Hornet went down Friday in Southern California desert
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Jun 4, 2022 9:00 AM CDT
Navy Fighter Jet Crashes, Killing Pilot
In this Feb. 28, 2017, file photo, an F/A-18E Super Hornet is seen over Death Valley National Park in California.   (AP Photo/Ben Margot, File)

A Navy fighter jet crashed Friday in the Southern California desert, killing the pilot, authorities said. An F/A-18E Super Hornet based at Naval Air Station Lemoore went down at about 2:30pm in the area of Trona, an unincorporated Mojave Desert community in San Bernardino County, the Navy announced in a statement, per the AP. Trona is about 236 miles southeast of the air station, which is in the Central Valley. Nobody on the ground was hurt. The identity of the pilot and details of the crash weren't immediately released. Lemoore is home to Commander Strike Fighter Wing Pacific and Commander Joint Strike Fighter Wing and hosts 16 operational Strike Fighter squadrons, according to its website.

In 2019, a Navy Super Hornet crashed in Death Valley National Park during a routine training mission, killing the pilot and slightly injuring seven park visitors who were struck by debris. They'd gathered at a scenic overlook where aviation enthusiasts watch military pilots speeding low through a chasm dubbed Star Wars Canyon, officials said. Last October, a Navy Super Hornet from Naval Air Weapons Station China Lake also crashed, and in 2020 another from Lemoore went down, both during training missions. The pilots safely ejected, one in a remote southern area of Death Valley National Park near the Nevada border, the other in the Mojave Desert.

(More fighter jet stories.)

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