The U.S. Navy has confirmed that the pilot of an F/A-18E Super Hornet was killed when the aircraft crashed in California’s Death Valley National Park at approximately 9:50 a.m. local time on Wednesday. Seven park visitors reportedly sustained minor injuries as a result of the accident. The pilot has been identified as Lt. Charles Z. Walker, 33.
“The aircraft from VFA-151 was on a routine training flight when the mishap occurred,” the U.S. Naval Air Forces said in a statement on Twitter. “The cause of the mishap is under investigation.”
The crash took place about 60 miles north of Naval Air Weapons Station (NAWS) China Lake. The aircraft was based at Naval Air Station (NAS) Lemoore, California.
This story will be updated as more information becomes available.