On August 1, 2019 U.S. Navy F/A-18E Super Hornet fighter jet Crashed in Star Wars Canyon leaves Visitors Injured, Pilot missing
The U.S. Navy has confirmed that the pilot after long Search and Rescue operation. The pilot of a fighter jet that crashed in California’s Death Valley National Park, injuring seven tourists on the ground, perished in the accident during training exercises through a canyon area, the U.S. Navy confirmed on Thursday.
The single-seat aircraft, an F/A-18E Super Hornet, was flying over Rainbow Canyon in Death Valley, about 130 miles (210 km) west of Las Vegas, when it went down Wednesday morning, the Navy said.
F-18 fighter jet crash in Death Valley. Federal authorities still at Father Crowley Lookout after sunset. Toward the end of this clip you can see the blackened side of the canyon where the jet exploded after the crash. Still no word on whether the pilot made it out alive. pic.twitter.com/Tfi1ktxel1
— Rob McMillan (@abc7robmcmillan) August 1, 2019
The pilot’s fate was uncertain in the immediate aftermath of the crash, but a day later U.S. Navy officials said the aviator’s remains had been located.
A search operation was started to retrieve the pilot. A witness said to the Associated Press that he did not see any sign of ejection. On August 1, 2019, Navy spokesperson Lydia Bock announced the death of the pilot. An investigation into the cause of the incident has been opened.
In official statement released, “The Navy has confirmed that the pilot of the F/A-18E Super Hornet that crashed July 31st died in the crash.
In accordance with Department of Defense policy, the identity of the pilot will be withheld until 24 hours following notification of next of kin. The Navy mourns the loss of one of our own and our hearts go out to the family and friends affected by this tragedy.
The pilot, a member of Strike Fighter Squadron One Five One (VFA-151) nicknamed the Vigilantes from NAS Lemoore, died Wednesday when his aircraft impacted the side of the canyon wall between the Father Crowley Point parking lot and The Vista in Star Wars Canyon.
The fighter jet was taking part in a low-altitude training mission at the time, according to Lieutenant Commander Lydia Bock, a spokeswoman for the plane’s home base, U.S. Naval Air Station Lemoore, north of Los Angeles.
Seven national park visitors from France who had stopped at the Father Crowley Vista Point overlooking the canyon suffered burns and lacerations from the crash, but their injuries were not believed to be life-threatening, park spokesman Patrick Taylor said.
U.S. Navy officials did not furnish further details about the circumstances or cause of the accident, which they said was under investigation.