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Navy F-18 Super Hornet crashes near Death Valley

Rescue crews search for missing Naval pilot after F-18 Super Hornet crash near Death Valley

A single-seat F/A-18E Super Hornet has crashed near Death Valley in California, and the status of the pilot is unknown, Navy officials said.

The fighter jet based at Naval Air Station Lemoore crashed on Wednesday morning between 9am and 10am local time, a Navy spokesperson said. 

The plane went down near Death Valley, just north of Naval Air Weapons Station China Lake.

A rescue team from the base and officials from the Inyo County Sheriff’s Office are on the scene of the crash.

An F/A-18E Super Hornet is seen in a file photo in exercises earlier this month. A similar plane crashed near Death Valley in California on Wednesday

Initial reports indicated the Boeing F/A-18E Super Hornet went down on the west side of Death Valley National Park, near the Father Crowley Overlook, according to KNTV.

The overlook is an area informally known as ‘Star Wars Canyon,’ which has been used for military training flights since the 1930s.

Military plane enthusiasts regularly gather there to watch fighter jets make training runs down the tight canyon, evocative of scenes from the Star Wars films. 

Developing story, check back for updates. 


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