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US Navy Super Hornet crashes in Death Valley

US Navy Super Hornet
Illustration: US Navy file photo

A US Navy F/A-18F Super Hornet crashed in Death Valley National Park, California, at approximately 3 p.m. (PDT), October 4.

The navy said the pilot was treated for minor injuries at Sunrise Hospital and Medical Center in Las Vegas, Nevada, and released later that night.

The aircraft was assigned to Air Test and Evaluation Squadron (VX) 9 based at Naval Air Weapons Station (NAWS) China Lake, and is the second Super Hornet to crash near the base within a year.

Almost exactly a year to date, an F/A-18E single-seat Super Hornet from Naval Air Station Lemoore crashed during a routine training flight on October 20. The aircraft experienced a mishap in the Superior Valley, just south of Naval Air Weapons Station China Lake. The pilot flying the F/A-18E also managed to eject safely.

Responding to the October 4 crash, search and rescue units from NAWS China Lake, Fort Irwin Army Base, and Marine Aviation Weapons and Tactics Squadron (MAWTS) 1 from Marine Corps Air Station Yuma rushed to the scene and rescued the pilot.

No civilians were harmed as a result of this incident, the navy said, adding that the aircraft crashed in a remote area in southern Death Valley National Park.

The navy said the incident was currently under investigation, adding it is cooperating fully with local authorities.