Two Military Jets Down, Pilots Safe
This week has seen two seen two military jet crashes, fortunately with no serious injuries. The first, a Marine AV-8B Harrier, impacted in a residential neighborhood in Imperial, Calif., at 4:20 PDT on Wednesday, destroying three homes and leading to the evacuation of eight others. The pilot ejected safely and was hospitalized for evaluation. The ejection may have been made at low altitude as at least one person reported watching the pilot exit the aircraft. In the second accident, a Navy F/A-18E Super Hornet went down Wednesday at about 10:00 p.m. PDT during approach for landing on the carrier Carl Vinson during predeployment training off the coast of southern California. The pilot ejected and was rescued from the water. The jet was part of Strike Fighter Squadron 81, based at Naval Air Station Oceana, Va.
Investigations into both crashes are underway. The Harrier, a part of the Third Marine Air Wing, was based in Yuma, Ariz., and was the second non-fatal crash of a Harrier from the base in a month. CNN reports that a witness to the Harrier crash in Imperial, Shaun Penniman, said, “I heard a pop and a whistle. And right when I looked up is when I saw the pilot eject.”