Navy Super Hornet Jet Crashes in Field, Leemore Base Pilot Ejects

by Alastair Jamieson /  / Updated 

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A Navy Super Hornet fighter jet crashed in California on Monday but the pilot ejected and was in “good condition,” military officials said.

The F/A-18E went down in an empty dirt field just west of Lemoore Naval Air Station, about 40 miles southwest of Fresno, at 3:55 p.m. local time (6:55 p.m. ET).

Image: A handout file photo of an F/A-18E Super Hornet being launched from the flight deck of the USS George Washington in the Pacific.
FILE PHOTO: An F/A-18E Super Hornet.CHRIS CAVAGNARO / AFP - Getty Images

The cause of the crash is under investigation, the Navy said in a statement.

“At this time, there are no reports of any other injuries or damage,” it said.

“The pilot of the single-seat aircraft ejected safely and is in good condition. The name of the pilot is being withheld for privacy reasons,” it added.

The pilot was in contact with air traffic controllers before the crash, base commander Capt. Monty Ashliman told reporters, according to the Fresno Bee.

Passer-by Leonard Hinkle told the newspaper he saw fire crews spraying the wreckage with what seemed to be foam.

The smoke was so thick “you couldn’t tell what it was,” he said. “But the fire truck threw foam on it and then you could see the wings sticking up.”

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