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Miramar pilot ejects before F-18 jet crash

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Miramar pilot ejects before F-18 jet crash

Post by gvla on Thu Sep 06, 2012 3:59 am



A Marine pilot from a San Diego squadron safely ejected from a fighter jet Saturday before it crashed at Naval Air Station Fallon, Naval air forces staff announced.

The F/A-18C Hornet from Marine Fighter Attack Squadron (VMFA) 323 was training in a remote area of the Nevada air station when it went down about 3:15 pm. The pilot ejected and was treated and released from Banner Churchill Community Hospital in Fallon.

No one was seriously injured, the Navy said. The cause of the crash is under investigation.

The squadron nicknamed the "Death Rattlers" from the 3rd Marine Aircraft Wing based at Miramar Marine Corps Air Station is training at Fallon with Carrier Group 11. The installation in the Nevada desert east of Reno is also the site of the Navy’s TOPGUN school formerly located at Miramar.

“The job itself is of a dangerous nature, but it’s not common for an F/A-18 or military aircraft in general to crash,” said Navy Lt. Aaron Kakiel, a spokesman for Naval Air Forces Pacific. “Luckily it’s one of the safety precautions we have in the aircraft -- when the pilot is able to recognize a situation that is unrecoverable, they are able to eject and get out safely.”

The jet was destroyed by the crash, Kakiel said. Each costs $30 million or more.

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