Navy pilot ejects safely as F/A-18E Super Hornet crashes in California

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A U.S. Navy F/A-18 Super Hornet receives fuel from a KC-135 Stratotanker assigned to the 28th Expeditionary Air Refueling Squadron over Afghanistan, Jan. 14, 2020. The 28th EARS, deployed with U.S. Air Forces Central Command, is responsible for delivering fuel to U.S. and coalition forces, enabling a constant presence in the area of responsibility. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Bethany E. La Ville)

This article by Jess Schogol originally appeared on Task & Purpose

A pilot ejected safely from a Navy F/A-18E Super Hornet which crashed on Tuesday during a training flight near Naval Air Weapons Station China Lake, California, Navy officials said.

The plane went down at about 10:10 a.m. local time after taking off from Naval Air Station Lemoore, California, said Cmdr. Zach Harrell a spokesman for the commander of Naval Air Forces.

The pilot was released from a local medical facility later on Tuesday following a thorough examination, said Lt. Cmd. Lydia Ellen Bock, a spokeswoman for the commander of Strike Fighter Wing Pacific.

“The Navy is continuing its investigation in cooperation with local authorities,” Bock said in a statement. “For the safety of the public and to allow for a complete investigation, the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) has issued an Emergency Closure Order surrounding the crash site.”

Tuesday’s crash comes exactly three weeks after a Marine Corps F-35B crashed in southern California after colliding with a KC-130J tanker, which made an emergency landing.

The F-35 pilot ejected successfully and KC-130 crew members were treated for non-life-threatening injuries.


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