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31 Jul, 2019 19:07

US Navy F-18 Super Hornet crashes in California

US Navy F-18 Super Hornet crashes in California

A US Navy fighter jet has crashed near a military installation in California, according to the Naval Air Forces. The status of the pilot is currently unknown.

A rescue effort is currently underway, a spokesperson for the Navy Joint Strike Fighter Wing said, while the number of pilots involved remains unclear. The aircraft was reportedly a Navy F/A-18E Super Hornet.

“At approximately 10:00 a.m PST an F/A-18E crashed near @NAWS_CL. Search-and-rescue efforts are underway,” the Naval Air Forces tweeted Wednesday.

A spokesperson for the Inyo County Sheriff’s Office told CNN police helped to secure the area of the crash before the military arrived on the scene.

The Naval Air Weapons Station China Lake is located near Death Valley National Park, approximately 150 miles north of Los Angeles, California.

2018 saw a number of similar accidents with American military aircraft, with at least five non-combat related crashes killing nine US service members, according to Fox News. The accidents prompted calls in Congress to overcome a “crisis” in military aviation.

The F/A-18 is both a fighter and attack aircraft in one, originally developed by McDonnell Douglas - now Boeing - and Northrop for the US Navy and Marine Corps. It is still the workhorse of both service branches, as its fifth-generation replacement the F-35 continues to be plagued by design flaws and performance problems.