The U.S. Navy says it has confirmed the death of the pilot in the crash of a fighter jet in the California desert.
The Navy says in a statement Thursday that the pilot’s identity will be withheld until 24 hours after notification of next of kin in accordance with Defense Department policy.
The aircraft belonged to Strike Fighter Squadron VFA-151 based at Naval Air Station Lemoore in California’s Central Valley.
The single-seat Boeing F/A-18E/F Super Hornet crashed just before 10 a.m. on the western edge of Death Valley National Park in the Mojave Desert, said park official Patrick Taylor.
Taylor told NBC 7 that seven park visitors sustained minor injuries in the crash.
The jet went down about 60 miles north of Naval Air Weapons Station China Lake, according to U.S. Naval Air Forces Pacific spokesperson Lt. Travis Callaghan. The station is 120 miles north of Los Angeles.
The aircraft was part of a strike fighter squadron CFA-151 stationed at Naval Air Station Lemoore. The squadron is part of an air group attached to the aircraft carrier USS John C. Stennis.
The crash site is located in Inyo County, which is southeast of Yosemite National Park.
At approximately 10:00 a.m PST an F/A-18E crashed near @NAWS_CL. Search-and-rescue efforts are underway.
Please refresh this page for updates on this story. Details may change as more information becomes available.
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