Navy jet crashes in Nevada; pilot parachutes to safety

An F/A-18C Hornet assigned to the Wildcats of Strike Fighter Squadron (VFA) 131 prepares to launch from the flight deck of the aircraft carrier USS Dwight D. Eisenhower on July 31, 2016.


By TARA COPP | STARS AND STRIPES Published: August 2, 2016

WASHINGTON — A Navy pilot parachuted to safety Tuesday after the fighter jet that he was flying crashed during a training flight in Nevada, according to service officials. 

The F/A-18C aircraft crashed near Naval Air Station Fallon at about 10:50 a.m., the Navy said. The pilot ejected prior to the crash and was transported to a nearby hospital, where he was released with only minor injuries, said Zip Upham, a spokesman for Naval Air Station Fallon.

The name of the pilot, who was assigned to the Naval Aviation Warfighting Development Center, was not released. 

This was the second crash in a week involving an F/A-18C aircraft belonging to Marine Fighter Attack squadron 232, which is based at Marine Corps Air Station Miramar in California.

On July 28, Marine Corps pilot Maj. Richard Norton was killed when the F/A-18C fighter jet he was flying crashed near Twentynine Palms in California during a night-time training mission.

Naval Air Station Fallon is the service's premiere air-to-air and air-to-ground combat training facility, "where an entire carrier air wing can ... [integrate] every element of the wing into realistic battle scenario," according to Fallon's official webpage.

This was the fourth crash involving the F/A-18 since May.  The crashes have resulted in the deaths of two pilots and the loss of five aircraft. 

A fatal crash in June of a Hornet during a Blue Angels practice flight killed Marine Capt. Jeff Kuss and two upgraded Super Hornet variants of the F/A-18 collided in May during a training mission off the coast of North Carolina.

Twitter: @TaraCopp

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