US fighter jet crashes, pilot killed — Analysis

An F/A-18E Super Hornet went down on Friday in Southern California’s Mohave Desert

The F/A-18E Super Hornet of a US Navy fighter plane pilot crashed in Southern California’s Mojave Desert on Friday. It was the fourth crash in this area since 2005.

According to the Navy, Friday’s crash occurred near Trona, San Bernardino County, at approximately 2:30 on Friday. The pilot wasn’t identified, and the Navy offered no details about how the crash occurred. The ground was not affected by the crash.

This incident happened just hours after the death of a Navy Special Forces sailor and injuries to four other sailors when their van collided with a tree on its way back from an exercise at Camp Billy Machen, Niland. The Navy did not identify any personnel, but two of the injured sailors were taken to nearby hospitals in serious condition. California Highway Patrol are investigating the incident. Reports say that the van drove off the road before 10 AM, hit a boulder, and was then overturned.

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A 2019 Super Hornet crash that resulted in the death of the pilot also led to the fighter jet’s fatality. The crash happened in Death Valley National Park, during a training mission. Seven park visitors sustained injuries and were hit by debris. Bystanders had assembled at a picturesque overlook from which military pilots can zip through an area called “America’s Best Place to Fly” ‘Star Wars Canyon,’Flying below the rim in certain cases like a spacecraft from the movie ‘Star Wars’.

In the last two years, there have been at most two Super Hornet crashes in California. One Super Hornet, which was stationed at Naval Air Station China Lake, crashed last year in Death Valley National Park. Another Super Hornet, from Naval Air Station Lemoore, collided in Mojave Desert in 2020. The pilots in both cases were able survive and eject.

The F/A-18E Super Hornet, built by Boeing, is known as the Navy’s premier strike fighter and has a top speed of nearly 1,200 miles per hour. It is the featured jet in the $70million new movie. ‘Top Gun: Maverick’ movie starring Tom Cruise.

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