Navy pilot missing after fighter jet crash in Mojave Desert

Navy pilot missing after fighter jet crash in Mojave Desert

Navy pilot missing after fighter jet crash in Mojave Desert

A Super Hornet single-seat fighter jet from Lemoore Naval Air Station has crashed in Death Valley, according to the U.S. Navy.

The Inyo County Sheriff's Office secured the area following the crash as naval authorities organized the search for the pilot, CNN reported.

Death Valley National Park's public information officer Patrick Taylor said he received a call from the Panamint Springs Resort in Darwin of a military plane crash on the west side of Death Valley, near Father Crowley Overlook.

"Search and rescue personnel are on scene and the status of the pilot is now unknown", Bock added.

A search-and-rescue helicopter was dispatched to the scene from Naval Air Weapons Station China Lake about 10 a.m., according to Commander Ron Flanders, a spokesman for U.S. Naval Air Forces. It is unknown if the pilot is injured. In total, its two ranges and main site cover more than 1.1 million acres, an area larger than the state of Rhode Island, the website said. He didn't see any parachute.

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His father drove up to the area after the crash and saw a large black scorch mark and shattered parts of the jet scattered throughout the area between the parking lot and lookout, Cassell said.

The Super Hornet is a twin-engine warplane created to fly from either aircraft carriers or ground bases on both air-superiority and ground-attack missions.

The jet was part of VFA-151, a squadron belonging to Carrier Air Wing 9 and attached to USS John C. Stennis, Naval officials said.

The base is located some 150 miles north of Los Angeles, according to its website, and is located in the Western Mojave Desert region of California.

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