Navy F/A-18 Crashes in California (UPDATED)


Details are still coming in, but the U.S. Navy confirms that an F/A-18E Super Hornet has crashed near China Lake on a training flight this morning around 10 a.m. Pacific time. According to a Facebook post from Naval Air Station Lemoore, “An F/A-18E Super Hornet from Naval Air Station Lemoore experienced a mishap during a routine training flight in the Superior Valley, just south of Naval Air Weapons Station China Lake. The pilot ejected safely and was taken to a local medical facility for examination. The U.S. Navy is cooperating fully with local authorities. More information will be released as it becomes available.”

By late this afternoon, Lemoore reported that “the pilot involved in today’s mishap has been released from the medical facility following a thorough examination. The Navy is continuing its investigation in cooperation with local authorities. For the safety of the public and to allow for a complete investigation, the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) has issued an Emergency Closure Order surrounding the crash site.”

According to local reports, the Super Hornet crashed into an open field and there have been no reported injuries on the ground. The reported general crash location is 10-15 miles southwest of the China Lake facility.

We will update this story as more details come available.

Marc Cook
KITPLANES Editor in Chief Marc Cook has been in aviation journalism for more than 30 years. He is a 4000-hour instrument-rated, multi-engine pilot with experience in nearly 150 types. He’s completed two kit aircraft, an Aero Designs Pulsar XP and a Glasair Sportsman 2+2, and currently flies a 2002 GlaStar.

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