SAN DIEGO (AP) — A Virginia Beach-based 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 in stable condition.
The Navy says the F/A-18E Super Hornet of Strike Fighter Squadron 81, based at the Naval Air Station Oceana, was making its approach to USS Carl Vinson off the southern California coast about 10 p.m. Wednesday when it went down.
The pilot is currently aboard the carrier, the Navy stated, but there was no information about any injuries.
The cause of the crash will be investigated. The aircraft has not been recovered.
The Navy says all air operations aboard Carl Vinson have been stopped.
Other aircraft from the vessel still in the air were safely diverted to the naval airstrip at the Coronado section of San Diego.
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.
Carl Vinson and embarked Carrier Air Wing 17 are conducting Joint Task Force Exercise (JTFEX). JTFEX is designed to test a strike group’s ability to operate in hostile and complex environments with other U.S. and coalition forces. The integrated exercise combines specific warfare areas with the purpose of making preparations for the strike group's upcoming deployment, the Navy said.