SAN DIEGO (AP/WAVY) — A Navy jet crashed into the sea as it prepared to make a late-night landing on an aircraft carrier, but the pilot ejected and was listed in stable condition, officials said.
The F/A-18E Super Hornet was making its approach to the USS Carl Vinson off the southern California coast about 10 p.m. Wednesday when it went down, Navy spokeswoman Lt. Reagan B. Lauritzen said.
“The pilot ejected from the aircraft, was recovered safely and is currently aboard Carl Vinson in stable condition,” she said.
Lauritzen said she didn’t have any more information on the pilot’s condition.
Mike Maus with the Navy said the F/A-18E was assigned to Strike Fighter Squadron (VFA) 81 based at Naval Air Station Oceana.
This is the second F/A-18E Super Hornet to crash in a matter of months. In January, an F/A-18E assigned to VFA-143 at Oceana crashed off the coast of Virginia Beach. The pilot also ejected safely.
Additionally, an F/A-18D jet crashed into an apartment complex in Virginia Beach in April 2012. That jet was also assigned to Oceana.
Other aircraft from the vessel still in the air were safely diverted to the naval airstrip at the Coronado section of San Diego.
Lauritzen said the cause of the crash will be investigated. The Hornet has not been recovered from the sea.
It was the second military aircraft crash in the California area Wednesday. In the afternoon, a Marine Harrier jet crashed in flames in a residential area of Imperial but no one was hurt. The pilot safely ejected and no one on the ground was injured.